On 10 August 2021, IFP President, Hon. Velenkosini Hlabisa, submitted an application to the Constitutional Court for leave to intervene, or alternatively, be admitted as _amicus curiae_, in the matter between the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) and Others, seeking a postponement of the 2021 Local Government Elections (LGE).
As the fourth largest Party in Parliament, as well as the Official Opposition in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, the IFP has a direct and substantial interest in these proceedings. Further, the IFP would like to offer “what it considers to be a practical solution to be considered in conjunction with the relief sought”.
The IFP is on record as being in agreement with the IEC that the 2021 Local Government Elections (LGE) need to be postponed.
However, we are of the belief that due to various considerations – including the ability for elections to be deemed free and fair, as well as health considerations linked to the Covid-19 pandemic – a delay until February 2022 might not prove sufficient. As the relief sought will only provide for one postponement, we suggest that the revised date for the LGE be 29 May 2022.
The IFP believes that a four-month delay – from October 2021 to February 2022 – offers insufficient time for proper assessment and to make the necessary arrangements for a safe election. We further suggest that the LGE be held over three days, to minimise the number of people being called upon to vote on any particular day.
As the IFP, we would never want to reduce the people of South Africa to mere voting fodder. We will continue to advocate – as we have done for many months – for a postponement of the LGE, to ensure the health and wellbeing of all South Africans, as well as their constitutionally-enshrined right to free and fair elections.
Hon. Velenkosini Hlabisa, MPL
IFP President and Leader of the Official Opposition in the KZN Legislature
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