The African National Congress (ANC) has reportedly withdrawn its application to the electoral court to force the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to reopen the candidate registration process ahead of the local government elections in October.
Last week, ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte said the party would approach the electoral court to force the IEC to open candidate registration for one extra day.
Duarte said the ANC faced a number of challenges when submitting its list of candidates to contest the polls. She said the IEC’s registration system repeatedly froze and locked its administrators out during the final few hours before the deadline last Monday.
This followed the closure of the IEC’s submission of candidates for registration ahead of the local polls, scheduled for 27 October 2021.
According to SAfm, at least seven municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal are among the 30 that missed the IEC registration deadline of candidates. Most affected municipalities within the province are in the Zululand District, which contains five local municipalities, it said.
According to ANC KZN secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli, the party did not secure the registration of all PR candidates in Edumbe, Phongolo, Abaqulusi, Ulundi and Nongoma local municipalities.
“The ANC is also without wards candidates in oPhongolo wards 4, 10 and 11, Abaqulusi wards 1, 5 and 7, Nongoma wards 8, 9, 12 and 17, Ulundi wards 7 and 12. In General Gizenga Maqina Mpanza region we do not have ward candidates registered in KwaDukuza wards 2, 6, 10, 20, 22 and 24. In Ndwedwe wards 11, 12, 13 and 15. In Mandeni ward 15 and Maphumulo ward 2,” he said on Tuesday.
The ruling party’s application withdrawal has raised eyebrows, with most questioning if the decision has anything to do with the outcome of the IEC’s application to the Constitutional Court.
Chairperson of the Democratic Alliance (DA) federal council Helen Zille claimed there was more to the ruling party’s application withdrawal.
“So, apparently the ANC is now withdrawing its appeal to the Electoral Court to re-open candidate registration. There seems to be a lot more to this story than meets the eye. And we need to expose it,” tweeted Zille on Tuesday evening.
Compiled by Vhahangwele Nemakonde