EFF to contest poll despite losing court bidComment on this story
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) will be on the ballot paper when South Africans go to the polls to elect new national and provincial governments in 56 days’ time.
This is despite the party’s losing an urgent high court challenge against the R605 000 deposit required for political parties to contest the May 7 general elections.
Party leader Julius Malema told supporters who braved the rain to gather outside the Palace of Justice that the EFF would meet Wednesday’s 5pm registration deadline for parties to submit the candidate list and pay the deposit to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).
“We do not have the money, but we will be registered by 5pm and will indeed be on the ballot paper on May 7,” Malema said.
“We must be courageous and not lose hope. This is not the end.”
High Court Judge Joseph Raulinga dismissed the EFF application in a matter of seconds.
He said: “I still need to cross the Ts and dot the Is to my ruling. The matter is not urgent. The application is dismissed with costs, and the applicant is ordered to pay the costs of a postponement of 4th March.” He said his judgment would be ready on Wednesday.
The costs related to last Tuesday, when the matter was postponed to the next day to give all parties enough time to file their papers.
Political parties have until 5pm on Wednesday to submit their candidate lists, plus the deposits - R200 000 for the National Assembly and R45 000 per province - to the IEC. Those who win at least one seat in the National Assembly or provincial legislature will get their deposits back.
The DA was the first party to submit its national and provincial lists, plus the deposits, on Monday. The ANC submitted its lists on Tuesday.
The EFF took President Jacob Zuma, Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor and the IEC to court, asking it to declare the law unconstitutional, or reduce the deposit.
Malema said the EFF existed in a capitalist world, and this had been enforced by the court.
“They must be ashamed of themselves; the judge must be ashamed. The law is supposed to protect the poor, but in South Africa the law favours the rich,” said Malema.
“South African courts are being used to rubber-stamp the decisions of capitalists. They must be ashamed and shame on the justice system of South Africa.
“The law should always protect the weak and the poor, but the South African law is for the rich. If you don’t have money, the law won’t protect you. If they thought we would be excluded from election, ba bethile fase (they’ve failed). We represent those without money and will continue to do that.”
Malema said the EFF would take the matter to the Constitutional Court should the lower courts rule against it.
He said that while the EFF had faith in the IEC, the party would return to court to demand a forensic audit of the IEC. He said IEC chairwoman Pansy Tlakula should be forced to step down if found to be corrupt. Tlakula allegedly violated procurement rules in securing a R320 million lease for the IEC’s new head office in Centurion.
* Sapa reports that the Christian Democratic Party has pulled out of the elections. Party leader Theunis Botha said the IEC had failed to address the issue of confiscating deposits.