Elections must go ahead

Cogta minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma proclaimed on August 3 that October 21 was the date for the local elections to take place. She did this, fully aware of the recommendation of the Moseneke Inquiry set up by the IEC to investigate whether the environment was conducive to go ahead with the elections or delay them until February 2022. The Moseneke Inquiry received more than 4000 submissions from political parties, health experts and many other civil society groupings and reached the conclusion that the elections should be postponed until February 2022.

The ruling party and some other smaller parties also supported the postponement as recommended and are now poised to join the IEC in a court case to seek to postpone the elections. As the law stands, the elections should be held within 90 days of the end of the five-year term and no more. There is no provision in the constitution for an extension of the term. We are therefore  in uncharted territory as no one is very sure which entity is constitutionally empowered to postpone the elections beyond the 90 days stipulated. Some think it must be sent to the electoral court while others think it should be handled by the constitutional court. Since I am no lawyer I will not offer any opinion on this particular matter. If I was asked whether the postponement to next year is warranted or even desirable in the greater scheme of things, I would say-not a chance.

There is absolutely no need to fiddle with the constitution at this stage for a matter I feel is not serious enough for that. Elections pose no greater danger than what people are doing now on a daily basis. For the ordinary citizens this is actually the best time for us to truly voice our opinion, based on what we have lived through in the past five years in our areas. These political parties want a postponement because the Covid-19 restrictions will heavily curtail their sleek campaigns to confuse, lie and blackmail us into voting for them. The less space they get to campaign, the better for our democracy, as they will lie to us as they have done all these years. We do not need sleek election campaigns to convince us who to vote for.

The parties have campaigned in the last five years through their deeds or misdeeds, so we need no rallies, drive-throughs, posters or radio advertisements to tell us what we have and still live through. I am totally against extending the mediocrity, the complete lack of service delivery and general incompetence of the present administrations in our local and district municipalities. We have had enough of these people, we cannot be forced to endure a further four months with them in charge. I say NO to the postponement and if I had any power I would join the court case and argue for the elections to go ahead on October 21. We were promised that every five years we would have a voice. We must not allow political expediency to deny us that democratic right. Imagine the damage these failed people would do if given a further four months in charge. No ways, we must vote in October.

 

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