DA slams bid by ANC to force IEC to reopen election candidates list

27 August 2021 - 14:20
By aphiwe deklerk AND Aphiwe Deklerk
The ruling ANC wants the IEC to reopen its local government candidates list. File photo.
Image: Alaister Russell The ruling ANC wants the IEC to reopen its local government candidates list. File photo.

The DA has vowed to oppose an application by the ANC to have the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) reopen its candidate list system for the upcoming local government elections.

This comes after the ANC missed the Monday night deadline to file all its candidates, citing, among other things, technical glitches.

ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte on Thursday confirmed the party had approached the electoral court to have the IEC reopen the list. She confirmed that the ANC missed the deadline to register candidates in at least 30 municipalities countrywide.

In a statement on Friday, DA IEC representative Werner Horn said the party was opposed to the reopening of the candidate list.

The DA strongly opposes the ANC’s application to the electoral court seeking to compel the Electoral Commission to reopen its candidate list system.

“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 July 6 that the final date for submission would be August 23.

The IEC cannot bend to the will of the ANC and must therefore oppose this frivolous application,” said Horn. 

For the sake of consistency, the IEC should vigorously oppose the ANC’s application on the basis of past precedent, he added.  

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 to ensure free and fair elections,” said Horn.

The principle should apply to the ANC, as it applies to every other party, he said.

It would be a very serious violation of this principle if the IEC appears to be bending the rules to suit the ANC.