ANC studying ConCourt ruling on independent candidates
Pretoria - The African National Congress on Thursday said it was studying the landmark judgment delivered by the Constitutional Court, permitting independent candidates to contest provincial and national elections.
“This judgment has just been made, therefore the African National Congress will need to study the judgment, and understand all the issues that are stated therein so that when it files commentary in the public, it has fully appreciated all the issues that have been ventilated upon,” ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe told the SA Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) soon after the ruling.
Asked if his party was worried about the independent candidates entering the fray of provincial and national politics where the ANC currently has a stronghold, Mabe insisted the former liberation movement will need time to study the ruling.
Mabe responded: “Hence we are saying we need to study the judgment, familiarise ourselves with the facts so that when we file commentary out in the public, we would have understood all of the issues. It would be unfair for us to express worry or no worry when we have not fully understood the content of the judgment itself.”
Asked what the judgment means for South African politics, Mabe responded: “Well, it’s interesting times ahead. Hence it is important to study the judgment, understand the facts and be able to relate with this thing on the basis of being fully informed.”
Former Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane on Thursday welcomed the landmark Constitutional Court ruling as a victory for democracy.
“This is a historic moment indeed because finally it gives effect to what democracy is. It is a historic moment indeed because it defeats state capture born out of party capture,” Maimane, who now leads the One South Africa Movement, told journalists at the apex court in Johannesburg.
“When people capture a party, they capture the state and corruption is the natural outcome out of that.”
Maimane said the landmark ruling should spur many South Africans to stand for political office.
“This is an opportunity for all South Africans now to stand and say we will be able to stand for our people as individuals (independent candidates) and bring change to our nation. Ultimately, it is democracy by the people and for the people, not democracy for the parties,” said the One South Africa Movement “chief activist”.
“This is a victory for democracy, for our Constitution and for future generations in our nation.”
The Constitutional Court ruling was delivered by Justice Mbuyiseli Madlanga on Thursday.
The New Nation Movement had brought the court challenge, challenging the Electoral Act 73 of 1998, and requesting the superior court to allow independent candidates to run for elections at provincial and national levels.
The apex court on Thursday gave Parliament two years to amend the Electoral Act so that it reflects the changes stated by the court.
African News Agency/ANA