Flamboyant Cape Town politician Badih Chaaban, the current leader of the National People’s Party (NPP) and mayor of the Cape Winelands, literally had the door shut in his face on Friday when he narrowly missed the deadline to submit his party’s candidate lists for the May 18 local government election.
The IEC gave parties until 5pm to register but Chaaban missed the deadline by a matter of seconds.
The “bad boy” of Cape politics could barely contain his anger as Courtney Sampson, the IEC’s provincial chief, and IEC official Granville Abrahams attempted to explain that there would be no exceptions for any political party.
Chaaban said he had travelled from Stellenbosch to be at the IEC offices in Bellville on time, only to have the door shut in his face.
“I arrived in the building minutes before the deadline and 5pm on the dot I was in the office, as they pulled closed the screen doors I was here,” he said.
Shouting at the top of his voice, Chaaban said: “You’re not being fair… You’re going to force me to go to court. Mr Sampson you are being very harsh here, we were on time… we were in the building.”
An irate Chaaban told reporters that the IEC offices had no proper signage and it took him a while to get to the right door, where submissions were being dropped off. “They should have had better signs. Even the banks, once you are inside they have no alternative but to serve you first, and we were inside.”
Chaaban stormed off, but not before getting his last words in.
“You people are full of s**t… You people are really stupid.”
Chaaban said he intended to register 111 candidates for the City of Cape Town.
Sampson said Abrahams continuously called the Telkom 1026 number and he did the countdown from 40 seconds before 5pm. “When it was 5pm exactly the doors were shut. The election timetable says 5pm we must close. We had media here to ensure a fair process. There was another party as well who failed to meet the deadline.”
Sampson added it was unpleasant for the IEC when things like this happened but “we cannot make any exceptions. People have hope and expectations looking forward to the elections and then being faced with exclusion, it’s not easy for us to do it and not easy for parties to accept”.
He said the court would be Chaaban’s only recourse. - Weekend Argus