Johannesburg – The DA has joined fellow opposition party Cope to express that it strongly opposes the ANC’s application to the Electoral Court seeking to compel the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to reopen its candidate list system.
DA IEC representative, Werner Horn said the IEC cannot bend to the will of the ANC and must therefore oppose this “frivolous” application.
The ANC said it wants to register to contest in all municipal councils in the country after the IEC turned down some of their candidates for filing their applications late.
“The ANC has indicated that it experienced numerous technical problems with the IEC’s registration system which prevented the party from registering some of their candidates in 30 municipalities.
“This reasoning holds no water, considering that the DA and many other political parties successfully submitted their full candidate lists without reporting any serious technical problems. Political parties knew since 6 July 2021 that the final date for submission would be 23 August 2021,” Horn said.
ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte said the ruling party will today file an urgent application in the Electoral Court, asking it to force the IEC to accept those candidates who were excluded, after the party “experienced glitches” with the electoral body’s online system.
Horn said for the sake of consistency, the IEC should dismiss the ANC’s application on the basis of past precedent.
“It is important to recall that the IEC previously barred candidates from the NFP from contesting the 2016 local government elections after the party failed to pay its registration fees on time.
“The IFP case of 2011, when it did not submit candidates in time for Umzumbe, was taken right up to the Constitutional Court where the IEC’s position was confirmed: Non-compliance with the election timetable cannot be condoned in order to ensure free and fair elections.
“This principle applies to the ANC just as it applies to every other party, and it would be a very serious violation of this principle if the IEC appears to be bending the rules to suit the ANC,” Horn said.
Cope spokesperson Dennis Bloem also said the court must reject the ANC’s application.
“The ANC must just accept that they have failed to meet the deadline to register some of their candidates,” said Bloem.
On the other hand, the UDM said it will join the ANC as friends of the court when the ruling party goes to the Electoral Court to call for the reopening of registration for its local government candidates.