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Inquiry into local government vote to hear oral submissions from Monday

22 June 2021 - 21:20 By shonisani tshikalange
Dikgang Moseneke will lead a panel investigating whether it will be possible to hold free and fair elections in the current coronavirus-dominated climate. File photo.
Dikgang Moseneke will lead a panel investigating whether it will be possible to hold free and fair elections in the current coronavirus-dominated climate. File photo.
Image: Simphiwe Nkwali

Starting on Monday, the inquiry into whether SA can hold free, fair and safe local government elections later this year will start hearing oral evidence.

And, according to the inquiry head, former deputy chief justice Dikgang Moseneke, the final report will be submitted to the Electoral Commission by Wednesday July 21 2021.

“The inquiry will be inviting the Electoral Commission, the department of health and the ministerial advisory committee on Covid-19 to make oral submissions along with independent medical experts, electoral monitoring bodies, civil society organisations and political parties who requested to make oral submissions,” he said.

Moseneke said the inquiry will, in the course of this week, publish a final schedule of hearings, detailing who will be making oral submissions along with the dates and times that the submissions will be made.

According to Moseneke, there was a considerable public interest in the assignment.

“The inquiry has received about 3,000 individual written submissions and voice notes from the public. These are not readily available on the website but will be considered alongside the submissions that have been published on the website,” he said.

The Electoral Commission of SA appointed Moseneke to oversee the inquiry amid concerns that the October elections could be hampered by Covid-19 lockdown restrictions that limit full interaction between political parties and their supporters.

Moseneke said the inquiry will weigh all the submissions and scientific evidence placed before it.

“After careful deliberation, the inquiry will make findings, together with recommendations, to the Electoral Commission on the likelihood or otherwise that the forthcoming 2021 general local government elections will be free and fair,” he said.

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