DA threatens legal action if ANC is allowed to register election candidates

05 September 2021 - 14:43
DA federal council chairperson Helen Zille says the party will seek an interdict should the ANC be allowed to register candidates for the fifth local government elections. File photo.
DA federal council chairperson Helen Zille says the party will seek an interdict should the ANC be allowed to register candidates for the fifth local government elections. File photo.
Image: RUVAN BOSHOFF

DA federal council chairperson Helen Zille says the party will seek an interdict should the ANC be allowed to register candidates for the fifth local government elections.  

The ruling party failed to register candidates with the IEC in more 90 municipalities, more than a third of SA's 278 municipalities.  

In a bid to correct this, it turned to the electoral court to ask for an additional 36 hours to finalise and submit its candidate list after the deadline expired two weeks ago. It however later made an about-turn and withdrew its application. 

The Constitutional Court on Friday dismissed an IEC bid to postpone the elections to February 2022 as per the recommendations of former deputy chief justice Dikgang Moseneke. Instead, it ruled that elections must take place between October 27 and November 1.

Zille has however questioned the ANC’s move. Taking to social media on Sunday, she accused the IEC of having a plan to rescue the ANC.

“It is now becoming clearer why the ANC withdrew its challenge to the Electoral Court for the reopening of the candidate registration period, so that it could register candidates in the 93 municipalities where it failed to submit full lists.

“The ANC did so because both the ANC/IEC expected the election to be postponed, and then re-promulgated by co-operative governance minister [Nkosazana] Dlamini Zuma, enabling the IEC to issue a new timetable so that the ANC could register its candidates. This was clearly their plan,” she tweeted.

Zille said many had been under the impression that elections would be postponed to next year, but instead were postponed by a few days from the October 27 date  promulgated by Dlamini-Zuma.

“That was wrong. It involved a postponement of just five days - from October 27 to November 1 - but even that small gap the IEC/ANC believed, would enable them to issue a new timetable.”

She said the party’s legal team believe that this had not been an option even though the apex court reaffirmed November 1 as the outside deadline for holding the election. 

“It said the window for registering candidates could not be reopened. That was an outcome the ANC/IEC did not expect.

“So looking back, it seems the ANC/IEC had a clear plan to get the ANC out of a corner for failing to register its candidates properly. And, as I understand from the Sunday papers, they are still trying to implement it. If they do, the DA will go to court to interdict them,” Zille said.  

As part of its decision, the court said the IEC must, within three days of the order, decide whether it was “practically possible” to hold a voter registration weekend to allow new voters to register or for those already on the voters’ roll to change their details — and must tell Dlamini-Zuma immediately of its decision in this regard. 

The IEC on Sunday announced that it would brief the media on its considerations of the judgment after a special meeting at the weekend. 

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