Non-Profit Freedom Under Law (FUL) has slammed the DA and EFF’s Constitutional Court application to oppose the reopening of candidate registrations.
Both parties said the decision was based on the principle of equal and consistent application of the law across all political parties.
The Constitutional Court has recently been petitioned to make orders relating to the upcoming municipal elections – specifically to set aside the Electoral Commission of South Africa’s (IEC) decision to reopen candidate registration.
FUL has now joined the application as amicus curiae (a friend of the court).
The litigation oversight body said the Court is now being used as a political boxing ring- with each party deriding the others and the IEC.
“Attempting to use the Court for its own political ends is to be deplored. The Court, as the ultimate guardian of the Constitution, is to be treated with the respect and deference that it deserves rather than as an arena for bald political contestation,” said FUL Director Dani Cohen.
FUL also maintains that the IEC’s decision to reopen candidate registration is lawful and rational.
The candidate registration process, which notably affected the ANC, is set to reopen on 20 September. This will allow the party to register candidates for the upcoming elections after it missed the initial registration period.
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”.
“Ordinarily in electoral administration, where candidacy is dependent upon inclusion in the voters’ roll, registration of candidates logically follows after the voters’ roll has been updated, challenged and verified,” said Cohen.
The voters’ roll is the authoritative record of all the enfranchised voters in a particular voting district. It is, therefore, the authoritative source of reference in determining whether a particular candidate is a resident in that voting district.