IEC seat policy comes under fire

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Copy of ca p10 muslim party done INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS Al Jama'ah's Ganief Hendricks. File picture: Enver Essop


Cape Town - The Cape Muslim party Al Jama’ah claims last week’s elections were not free and fair and that the party seat allocation process was an “administrative injustice”.

Attracting only 22 000 votes in the national election, Al Jama’ah failed to secure a seat in parliament.

According to the IEC, parties needed about 46 000 votes for a seat.

Al Jama’ah said it had lodged an appeal with the Independent Electoral Commission over what it called the commission’s unfair seat allocation formula which meant Muslims did not have a legitimate voice in Parliament.


The party is questioning the extra seats allocated to both AgangSA and the African Christian Democratic Party, saying these seats should have gone to the smaller parties next in line.

The IEC uses a complex formula to calculate the allocation of national assembly seats in accordance with the proportional representation system. The system throws up remainder votes which are used in the allocation of extra seats.

But Al Jama’ah’s Ganief Hendricks said: “The elections cannot be fair if the IEC’s seat policy gives a party an extra seat when another party has three times the vote of that party.”

He said Agang had got 52 350 votes – worth one seat – with roughly 6 500 votes left over.

These extra 6 500 votes clinched the party a second seat.

Hendricks’s point was that Al Jama’ah raked in 25 976 votes, not enough for a single seat, but about four times the 6 500 votes that gave Agang its second seat.


Hendricks, pictured, said his party had no problem with the first seat allocated to Agang and the ACDP, but had a major problem with the extra seats allocated to the parties.

“Those extra seats should have gone to Al Jama’ah and the Minority Front.”

Al Jama’ah was also unhappy at provincial level about the seat allocation to the DA in the Western Cape.

“The DA got an extra seat because of the unfair seat allocation policy of the IEC at the expense of Al Jama’ah,” he said.

The party received more than 13 182 provincial votes, but did not get a seat in the provincial legislature.


The party’s legal spokesman Dr Wasfie Hassiem said its lawyers were on standby to consult senior counsel to fight the issue in court.

IEC chief communication officer Kate Bapela confirmed on Monday that Al Jama’ah’s complaint had been received.

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Cape Argus

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