UDM registers its concerns about how the IEC treats its main stakeholders: political parties
Mr Bongani Msomi UDM Secretary General
The UDM wishes to take this opportunity to register its concerns on how the IEC undermines the main stakeholders when it comes to its initiated consultation process on whether the 2021 Municipal Elections if are held this year as perceived would be free and fair.
On the 22nd of April 2021, the IEC scheduled an extended NPLC meeting which was to be attended by the leaders of the political parties which was meant to consider the submissions made by parties on whether Municipal Elections can be free and fair if they are held this year.
In the evening of the day before (21/04/2021) the meeting could take place, President of the Republic of South Africa, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, made an announcement that the elections were going to take place on the 27th of October,2021.
The big question is, how could the IEC go behind the political parties and advise the President that the elections could take place yet there were still consultations that were still taking with the stakeholders. The announcement by the President ambushed and killed the robust debate on whether elections would be free and fair. What was the point to continue with the debate?
When one thinks the IEC realises the blunder it did and that it wanted to rectify it, by appointing the former Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke to lead a Commission of Inquiry to investigate whether the elections would be free and fair, the IEC scored another own goal.
Instead of giving Judge Moseneke a chance to do his job as mandated by same IEC, the latter decided to make an announcement that on the 9th of June 2021, it will be launching 2021 Municipal Elections. The act by IEC is very confusing, and, it is compromising Judge Moseneke and his work.
This indicates that the IEC knows what the findings and recommendations of the Inquiry would be before it could begin with its work “that the elections despite whatever challenges should go ahead.”
The IEC needs to take the stakeholders in limbo into its confidence and advise what is the meaning of what it is doing.