ActionSA has expressed its disappointment in the outcome of a report recommending that the local government elections in South Africa be postponed until next year. Former Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke says that free and fair elections would not be possible on the 27th of October and has recommended that they be postponed to February 2022.
Moseneke, together with a small team investigated whether elections could be held in the country amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
ActionSA’s National Chairperson Michael Beaumont says the recommendation to postpone the elections could have been avoided if more people had been vaccinated.
“I think the fact that it was expected is where the disappointment lies. It has come down to the fact that choices had to be made for the South African people between their right to vote and their right to be healthy and alive. Our view is that if matters had been handled correctly, this would not have been necessary – that means that if we had a better-vaccinated population,” says Beaumont.
Beaumont says the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) could have done more communicating their readiness for the elections.
“If the IEC had been more active in leading the readiness for these elections and communicating the measures that they were going to take to keep South Africans safe, it wouldn’t have come down to this choice,” says Beaumont.
Moseneke Report | Unpacking the report with Terry Tselane
The Electoral Commission (IEC) has outlined the processes due to be followed following a recommendation that local government elections should be postponed until next year.
“The IEC can reject the report but remember that the IEC does not set the date of the election, it is set by the minister of COGTA. The IEC has to approach the minister and then the minister would have to approach the Constitutional Court – because it is the custodian of our constitution – so in order for the elections to be postponed we have to motivate at the ConCourt like they did with the by-elections where they approached the electoral court and asked for a postponement,” says Terry Tselane, IEC’s Vice-Chairperson.
Moseneke Report | Free and fair elections cannot be held in October 2021