BLF, FF+ declare victory after court ruling on IEC party registration
Johannesburg - Black First Land First (BLF) has declared victory after the Gauteng High Court did not entirely rule on whether the party should be deregistered and barred from participating in next week's general elections.
The court ruled that the IEC had erred in not publishing BLF's full registration on the government gazette. This resulted in the commission dismissing FF+ application to object BLF's inclusion on the ballot.
"After reading the papers and considering arguments of the parties, the court makes the following findings; one, the Chief Electoral officer of the commission is obliged to publish his or her decision, in terms of section 16(5) of the electoral commission act 51 of 1996 as soon as reasonably practicable," Judge Boissie Henry Mbha said.
"The decision of the electoral commission to refuse condonation to the applicant (FF Plus) and consequent dismissal of the appeal is reviewed and set aside."
The FF+ had applied to the IEC seeking BLF's removal on the ballot for the May 8 elections saying their policy that they are strictly black party went against electoral code.
The court did not rule on whether BLF was restricted from participating but ordered that IEC had to publish the registration of political parties ahead of the elections.
BLF leader Andile Mngxitama, who argued for his party during court proceedings, said the ruling was a victory for the BLF and another loss for the FF+ in its campaign against his party. He reiterated that his party was a black interest party.
"We have been telling FF+ that there nothing they can do to stop us from going to Parliament. The court says the IEC must publish the one segment of our application, but it has nothing to do with our status as a registered party. On the 8th we are on the ballot and after the 8th we are in Parliament and we are going to expropriate the land of land thieves," said Mngxitama.
The FF+ leader Pieter Groenewald also declared victory saying the IEC now had to publish all the details on BLF's registration and that his party would study the ruling and decide on the way forward.
"If you look at the electoral commission act they should not have been registered. It is a victory for the FF+ and we will study the final judgement and then we will," said Groenewald.
The IEC had argued that FF+ had delayed in objecting BLF's registration and only applied to do so after the 14 day period had lapsed.
The BLF had support from The Land Party which said the BLF should be allowed to contest elections.IOL