Former Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke, who was last week appointed by the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) to decide whether or not to delay the October local government elections, has committed to handing over “a final report” on the matter to the IEC by July 21.
Moseneke made the commitment on Thursday following consultations with all political parties represented in the National Assembly.
“This morning, 27 May 2021, I had an information session with the political parties represented in the National Party Liaison Committee. In this discussion, representatives of the political parties pledged their support for this inquiry, and I had the opportunity to convey to them how the inquiry will be conducted,” Moseneke’s statement read.
The announcement comes after the chairperson of the IEC, Glen Mashinini, last week announced the establishment of a review committee within the IEC from which the coordinating process concerning the inquiry into ensuring free and fair elections during the Covid-19 pandemic would be conducted.
Moseneke is set to appoint members to a panel that will form part of a review committee.
Moseneke was the chairperson of the IEC when it conducted the country’s first democratic elections in 1994.
On Thursday, Moseneke indicated that because such an undertaking was “of obvious public concern and importance”, transparency regarding all the steps being taken towards making the decision would be vital.
To complete the inquiry within the tight time frame, Moseneke also announced that he had put together a “timeline within which the project will be undertaken”.
He revealed that from Friday, his new office would “invite various stakeholders to make submissions”, with preliminary submissions expected to be made by the chief electoral officer on June 4, “followed by substantive submissions on June 11”.
On Friday, Moseneke also expects that “government stakeholders, including the departments of health and cooperative governance and traditional affairs, will be invited to make submissions”.
Between June 4 and 18, similar invitations will be extended to “nongovernmental health institutions and medical experts involved in the management of the pandemic; political parties in the national and local spheres of government; and electoral stakeholders such as organisations involved in electoral monitoring and electoral research”.
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In addition, Moseneke revealed that the inquiry will hear oral submissions from invited stakeholders from June 28.
Moseneke also promised that “this inquiry will be as transparent as possible, and the submissions made to it, both orally and in writing, will be made accessible to all stakeholders and the public at large”.
“Should any member of the public or civic organisations choose to make submissions, they may notify us and, in any event, make submissions no later than Friday June 18. Details of the website of the inquiry, as well as various means for the public to make submissions, will be made known in the near future.”