The Democratic Alliance’s (DA’s) Constitutional Court (ConCourt) challenge against the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and the ANC on the reopening of councillor candidate submissions has advanced past the exchange of papers, and pleadings are closed.
It is now up to the ConCourt to set down a date for argument or decide the matter on the papers.
The party’s submissions say the IEC is not empowered to announce a reopening of candidate submissions because changing the timetable will unfairly benefit the ANC.
The governing party had failed to register candidates in more than 90 municipalities and wanted the IEC to intervene.
DA spokesperson Cilliers Brink said the ANC clearly required the bailout that the IEC had given them by reopening candidate submissions.
“We believe that South Africa’s democracy only works when the government, the institutions of state and all of society abide by the law, and when institutions like the electoral commission that are meant to be independent apply the law equally to all parties,” said Brink.
The DA said the ANC’s failure to make the candidate submission deadline and the legal precedent of previous similar examples involving other parties make it clear that there are no second chances.
Meanwhile, the ANC on Tuesday said it was “firmly on track” to meet the IEC’s new deadline to submit candidates for the upcoming local government elections.
ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe said the party was on schedule to meet the 21 September cut-off date, after missing the initial deadline in August for the candidate registration process.
He dispuited a report by EWN that the ANC had missed its own internal deadline to resolve candidate disputes lodged by its members by 11am on Saturday.
Mabe said while the body of the article was accurate, its headline created “a wrong impression that the ANC has not met one of its most critical internal deadlines towards the local government elections”.