Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke publishes final report on the Inquiry on Free and Fair Local Government Elections
On 20 July 2021, Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke released the report commissioned by the Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) on whether the forthcoming 2021 Local Government Elections will be free and fair, given the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the measures taken by the government to curb the continued spread of the pandemic.
As part of his enquiry, Moseneke relied on expert opinion, scientific opinion, the laws around elections, as well as submissions from the public, political parties, and civil society organisations. Having considered all the submissions of stakeholders, applicable law, research on electoral practices during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the related science, Moseneke concluded that it is not reasonably possible or likely that the local government elections scheduled for October 2021 will be held in a free and fair manner, as required by the Constitution and related legislation. He found that the scheduled elections are likely to be free and fair if they were to be held not later than the end of February 2022.
The IEC has confirmed receipt of the report and has undertaken to urgently study the report and its recommendations before making final decisions on the implications of the report for the elections scheduled for October 2021. The IEC further noted that it hopes that the report by Moseneke will not only assist the IEC in making a final determination regarding the upcoming Local Government Elections but will also contribute to the emergence of a national consensus of what conditions are necessary for free and fair elections and how the IEC can ensure the safety of voters, candidates, election staff and all other participants.
The final report of the Inquiry on Free and Fair Local Government Elections during COVID-19 can be accessed here.
Details of the Inquiry on Free and Fair Local Government Elections during COVID-19 can be accessed here.
The press release of the IEC can be accessed here.
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