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ConCourt to hear Electoral Commission’s application for postponement of local government elections

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The Constitutional Court is set to hear an application from the Electoral Commission, which is seeking an order for the postponement of the upcoming local government elections due to COVID-19.

The Constitutional Court of South Africa confirmed on Thursday, 19 August 2021, that it would be hearing an urgent application for direct access by the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC), in which it will seek an order to postpone the upcoming local government elections (LGE). The elections are scheduled to be held on Wednesday, 27 October 2021.

The ConCourt explained that the IEC appointed Justice Dikgang Moseneke to enquire, make findings, report on, and make recommendations on the likelihood that the commission would be able to ensure that the local government elections would be free and fair if held in October 2021. This is particularly important in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown regulations that the government announced in efforts to curb the spread of the virus.

The court also noted that Judge Moseneke’s findings had concluded that “it was not reasonably possible or likely that the local government elections scheduled for October 2021 would be held in a free and fair manner, as required by the peremptory provisions of the Constitution and related legislation.” He, instead, proposed for no later than February 2022. The ConCourt further conveyed that in line with these recommendations, the commission is seeking an order for a postponement.

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