IEC wants Wednesday's by-elections postponed after gatherings ban

28 June 2021 - 17:10 By andisiwe makinana
The IEC wants to postpone eight by-elections scheduled for Wednesday. File photo.
The IEC wants to postpone eight by-elections scheduled for Wednesday. File photo.
Image: Alaister Russell/The Sunday Times

The Electoral Commission (IEC) will urgently approach the electoral court to postpone eight by-elections scheduled for Wednesday in the wake of level 4 lockdown restrictions.

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday night moved the country to lockdown alert level 4, as Covid-19 cases were spiralling and the third wave of infections wrecked havoc, particularly in Gauteng. The restrictions prohibit all gatherings (except funerals), including political gatherings — and threw the hosting of Wednesday's by-elections into turmoil.

The Electoral Commission said it took the decision to seek the court’s approval to postpone the by-elections at an emergency meeting on Monday called after Ramaphosa's announcement.

Wednesday’s votes were the final by-elections scheduled to be conducted ahead of the local government elections due in October this year. 

The IEC was to hold eight municipal ward by-elections across four provinces — the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, the Northern Cape and the Western Cape — on Wednesday. The votes are set to be contested by 40 candidates from 14 political parties, as well as three independent candidates.

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