The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has announced that it will be joining an urgent application by the Democratic Alliance (DA) to the Constitutional Court opposing the Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa’s (IEC) decision to reopen the registration process for candidates.
The EFF said that its decision was based on the principle of equal and consistent application of the law across all political parties.
Explaining the decision, IEC chairperson Glen Mashinini said that it was “necessary to allow political parties and independent candidates an opportunity to nominate candidates after the registration weekend of September 18-19, 2021 has occurred, and after the voters’ roll has closed”.
“The scheme of the Municipal Electoral Act is such that the voter registration deadline is intended to precede the candidate nomination deadline. For example, persons can only be nominated as candidates once registered on the voters’ roll and provided they are registered in the relevant segment concerned.”
However, the EFF has lambasted this logic as lacking coherence.
It said that this was “unlawful and a direct defiance and disregard of the constitutional court directive that electoral timetable published by the IEC on 4 August should remain applicable”.
It reiterated that this was not in any way an attempt to win the elections by technicalities and did not entail that the party was scared of “incompetent, disorganised political parties that failed to register candidates on time”.
If the application by oppositions become a success, it will be a major blow for the ruling ANC as it will, for the first time in history, be faced with the prospect of not contesting 93 municipalities in which it had missed the deadline for nominations.