Former Deputy Chief Justice, Dikgang Moseneke, is set to appoint members of a panel that will form part of a review committee to assess whether or not, the current conditions are conducive for 2021’s Local Government Elections.

Last week, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) announced that it has tasked Justice Moseneke to undertake an urgent evaluation of whether free and fair elections could be held or should be postponed to a later date due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He is expected to submit a report on his findings to the IEC in July.

IEC open to election postponement:

The panel members to be handpicked by Justice Moseneke will be published later this week.

“To this end, it is my intention by Monday 24 May to establish an office to facilitate this process. This office will reach out to key stakeholders within the electoral sphere to urgently submit reports on their views regarding the various factors. These will include political parties, health authorities and experts, disaster management authorities and other electoral stakeholders. Details regarding the programme of work and contact information for this office will be published early next week.”

DA ready for elections

Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance (DA) said it’s ready for the 27 October local government elections, arguing the party does not need a postponement in the poll.

This comes amid calls from some opposition parties for the elections to be postponed as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

The DA is hoping to expand on the success it achieved in the local government elections almost five years ago when, with the assistance of other opposition parties, it took a number of Metros.

Speaking at the party’s virtual rally last week, DA leader John Steenhuisen Steenhuisen said the DA’s opponents have been caught napping.

“Our opponents are doing their best to wrangle out of it. They are either simply not prepared for this campaign or they fear what voters will say to them on the day. And so they talk about postponing and they make up excuses, but we will have none of that. The DA is marching confidently towards the 27th of October we are ready for the challenge, we are ready for the contest and we started our preparations a long time ago.”

– Additional reporting by Busi Chimombe.