The Democratic Alliance (DA) has lost their Constitution court bid to have the reopening of candidate lists by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) declared unlawful.
The decision by the constitutional court means that political parties can now submit their candidate lists for the local government elections. This also means that the African National Congress (ANC) can now register candidates to contest for municipalities and wards around the country.
If the DA had succeeded in its application to the constitutional court, the ANC would have not been able to register more than 90 ward councillor candidates for the upcoming local government elections.
ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe said the party welcomes the ConCourts decision. Mabe said, “we have always argued in the ANC That the right of a person or citizens to vote is inextricably linked to the right to be voted for as well”.
Mabe says that elections are not won in the courts, but on the ground via a popular vote. He says while campaigning in Soweto, the trust in the ANC was still observed. “The reception we received from the people of Soweto even as they raised their challenges around the electricity it still showed that people have got trust in the African National Congress”.
Executive Secretary of the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution, Lawson Naidoo says that once the voter’s roll is reopened, you then give the opportunity for individuals to be voted for.
He explained, “in terms of section 19 of the constitution and the simple argument of the electoral commission is that once you reopen the voter’s roll and allow people who may not have been registered to register people to amend the areas in which they are registered, that means that those people are now eligible to stand for election or indeed to nominate other people or to support the nominations of others”.
DA leader John Steenhuisen says the decision to make the application to the ConCourt was correct as the judgement shows the case had merit. He points to the fact that no costs were granted against the DA.
He said, “it's not the outcome that we wanted but nonetheless we respect the court the apex court and we respect the judgment made therein”.
Steenhuisen added, “at the same time we're going to put the IEC on notice that we're going to be watching them like hawks just simply we remain of the view that they've made this decision to reopen the candidate nomination to favour the ANC and had they followed the precedence that they had applied themselves in elections past to both the IFP and the NFP they would not have reopened the electoral timetable”.