- Former deputy chief justice Dikgang Moseneke issued a report on Tuesday in which he recommended that local government elections take place by February next year
- Moseneke highlighted that the current state due to the coronavirus pandemic will not render the elections free and fair
- One of the main concerns was the limitations placed by lockdown regulations that will hinder political parties from campaigning
Former deputy chief justice Dikgang Moseneke and the Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) briefed the media in Centurion on Tuesday, 20 July as they revealed the findings of a report that looked into the possibility of a free and fair local government election on 27 October.
At the media briefing, Moseneke recommended that the October local government elections be postponed until next year February, according to News24.
Moseneke stated that in order for elections to be free and fair, then they should be held no later than the end of the month of February 2022.
Moseneke issued a report based on oral submissions from civil society organisations, political parties, the government as well as health experts. Moseneke added that the findings in his report were not binding.
Moseneke raised health concerns such as the Covid-19's low vaccination rates, the possibility of a fourth wave predicated at the end of the year. He also mentioned the dangers of massive political gatherings when campaigning, according to a report by the Daily Maverick.
He stated that the lockdown restrictions would prevent parties and independent candidates from carrying out the actions required by the timetable and electoral regulations.
Mosenke stated that if political parties and independent candidates are constrained in their ability to communicate their message to voters, it limits their rights to run for office, campaign, and express themselves freely, defeating the goal of election freedom and justice.
Civil Society Groups ask for local government elections to continue
Briefly News previously reported that two civil society groups, namely the Active Citizens Movement (ACM) and the Helen Suzman Foundation, have asked the Moseneke Inquiry not to postpone the upcoming local government elections happening in October.
They have concerns that postponement of the local government elections could jeopardise the status quo of elections being free and fair.
According to the ACM, the country cannot afford to postpone elections because local governments throughout the country are in disarray due to poor governance, lack of service delivery and corruption.
The Helen Suzman Foundation stated that the IEC should put measures into place to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The ACM presented a possible implementation to curb the spread of the coronavirus such as an electronic socially distance voting system. R
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