Parties threaten court action unless election audit established by Saturday morning

10 May 2019 - 19:22 By JEFF WICKS
Disgruntled opposition parties staged a demonstration on May 9 2019 at the Results Operation Centre in Tshwane, where the counting of votes was under way.
Disgruntled opposition parties staged a demonstration on May 9 2019 at the Results Operation Centre in Tshwane, where the counting of votes was under way.
Image: Sebabatso Mosamo/Sunday Times

Twenty-seven disgruntled political parties have put the Independent Electoral Commission on terms, threatening Electoral Court action if the body doesn’t appoint an independent auditor and review election results by 11am on Saturday.

In a lawyer’s letter bearing the title “extremely urgent”, the parties staged an eleventh-hour effort to have their parlous performance at the polls reviewed.

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The parties concerned are: Forum 4 Service Delivery, African Content Movement, International Revelation Congress, Ecoforum, Better Residents Association, CPM, South African National Congress of Traditional Authorities, Women Forward, Land Party, ATM, PAU, SRWP, Alliance for Transformation, COPE, African Renaissance Unity, African Security Congress, SANCOTA, Compatriots of South Africa, NPA, IRC, NAPF, NFP, PAC, PRM and African Covenant.

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“Should the IEC not agree to an independent audit, we hold instructions to approach the electoral court for, amongst other things, an order to compel the IEC to appoint an independent audit firm to conduct an audit of the 2019 general elections and to refrain from declaring the outcome,” the letter reads.

“Our clients are of the view that the IEC is compromised insofar as the objectivity of any audit process.”

They said that a raft of procedural failures by the body meant that the IEC would be conflicted in auditing its own shortfalls.

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