Small parties hire law firms to challenge IEC over poll 'irregularities'

24 May 2019 - 11:54
By Nomahlubi Jordaan
Smaller parties have joined up to take on the IEC.
Image: RAJESH JANTILAL / AFP Smaller parties have joined up to take on the IEC.

Twelve political parties that contested the general elections on May 8 will take legal action against the Electoral Commission (IEC) regarding "irregularities" in the process.

In a statement posted by the United Democratic Movement on its social media platforms, the parties said they had reached consensus to challenge the elections.

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"Immediate action is necessary to confront the IEC with the serious irregularities faced in these elections so that democracy is never again undermined in South Africa," the statement read.

The parties said they would not reveal the details of their action yet, "except by stating that in terms of the challenging parties' accepted advice it will be most problematic to refute certain already identified irregularities that materially affected the freedom and fairness of the 2019 elections".

The parties said they had appointed two law firms,

which had been "mandated by the challenging parties to release written press statements on their behalf".

None of the challenging parties would engage the media directly on the challenging parties' business, the parties said.

They include the United Democratic Party, African Democratic Change, Front National, African Content Movement, National People’s Front and Compatriots of South Africa.

After the elections, 35 small parties called for an internal audit of the results and acknowledgment by the international community that the elections were not free and fair.

"This election is not fair and transparent. The IEC has admitted in these PLC meetings that there have been irregularities and some people have been arrested already. We have been threatened by the IEC, they've brought in a judge and we are telling the same judge that we are not going to be intimidated," the ACM's Romeo Ramuada said at a media briefing two days after the elections.