The Patriotic Alliance (PA) has threatened legal action should the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) give the African National Congress (ANC) another chance to register its candidates.
This after the party’s deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte announced on Thursday that the ruling party will approach the Electoral Court on Friday in an attempt to get the IEC to open candidate registration for one more day.
“We will be approaching the Electoral Court to reopen the process for at least one day for corrections and additions to be made,” said Duarte.
She said some of the challenges experienced on Monday were beyond the ANC’s control.
“Firstly of all, Covid-19 alert level four lockdown banned meetings for most of July, and this meant that more than 15,000 branches and community meetings had to be held from late July until the 20th of August to nominate and hold community meetings with ward candidates.
“This had a massive impact on the already packed deadlines we had.
“In some regions they were even holding some branch and community meetings on the 23rd [of August] and it really made it difficult for us to capture where details came late.”
Duarte said these issues were raised to the IEC when the party requested the extension. She said the commission rejected their request and hence the party has resolved to approach the Electoral Court.
She said these hiccups were not only experienced by the ANC but other parties as well.
However, three political parties have denied experiencing problems with the system.
Responding to Duarte, DA’s chairperson of the federal council Helen Zille said her party registered its candidates without any glitches.
“Strangely, Jessie, the IEC’s online candidate submission system worked well for us. Was it only faulty when it came to the ANC’s submission?” she tweeted on Thursday.
“Worth remembering that in 2016 the IEC disqualified the National Freedom Party from the election for missing the submission deadline. Now that the ANC wants to do so, let us watch their response very closely.”
Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) national spokesperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa said the IEC must do to the ANC what it did to the NFP in 2016.
“2011: #IFP missed submission deadlines in Mzumbe and parts of Mpumalanga. 2016: NFP missed the registration fee deadline. The Electoral Court upheld the IEC timeline and denied participation on both counts. In 2021 precedence must be upheld re ANC application on same,” he tweeted on Thursday.
PA leader Gayton McKenzie said his party would consider legal options should the IEC make an exception of the ruling party.
“The IEC dare not give the ANC another chance, we shall fight this with all our legal might if they were to be given a chance to register candidates for municipalities where they were either late or didn’t register their candidates,” said McKenzie on social media.
“All parties were subjected to the same system and timelines, we all tried our best, the IEC is not a desk of the ANC, the National Freedom Party ( NFP ) in 2016 Local Government Elections didn’t register on time and was banned from participating in the 2016 LGE.
“Fair is fair, let the ANC also be disqualified from the 35 municipalities where they didn’t register to vote, the voters will have a lot of other choices to make. The position of the PA is clear, the IEC should do same to ANC like what they did to NFP in 2016.”
Additional reporting by Siyanda Ndlovu