Nov 29, 2021

DA Takes IEC To Court Over Election Postponement Applications

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Zille has vowed that her party to file papers opposing the postponement of the October local government elections.

FILE PHOTO: President Jacob Zuma greets Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille during a visit to the IEC results operaton centre in Pretoria on Thursday evening, 8 May. PICTURE: Sapa

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JOHANNESBURG: The DA goes to ConCourt to oppose IEC application to postpone local government elections.

Following Independent Electoral Committee’s (IEC) application on 04 August 2021, to postpone the local government elections to February 2022. The Democratic Alliance’s Federal Council Chairperson Ms Helen Zille has vowed that her party to file papers opposing the postponement of the October local government elections.

In the statement, the party argued that while it’s at the election preparations, the application is direct to the constitutional court because of a number of reasons primary of which being that the matter raises ‘weighty constitutional matters’ involving the balancing of rights enshrined in the constitution.

“This court application is an extraordinary one and presumably unprecedented. The issues which are core to the application have a bearing on the political rights of citizens as well as the right to life, bodily and psychological integrity and access to health,” the party said.

“The application will undoubtedly offer the constitutional court another opportunity to contribute to the evolving jurisprudence of our constitutional order,” it added.

“The application is also launched on an urgent basis because there is a need for certainty on the preparations for the municipal elections. The Commission and electoral stakeholders are currently in an untenable position where preparations are proceeding for the 27 October whilst at the same anticipating the outcome of the constitutional court application for a possible deferral of elections to February 2022,” said IEC in the statement.

Furthermore, the Commission added that the nature of the relief sought by it is largely ‘predicated’ on the impossibility to perform a constitutional obligation which is the conduct of constitutionally compliant elections of municipal councils by 1 November 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the measures that government has instituted to curb the spread of the virus.

However, Ms Zille has wished to join the Commission with an application to oppose the postponement of local government elections from 27 October as an official date to February 2022.

On a virtual conference briefing by the DA held 11 August 2021, the party argued that ‘Every month, we ask old people, we ask vulnerable people to stand in very long SASSA queues.

Kids are at school. The malls are full. People are in restaurants but somehow, we can’t hold the elections, what is that all about?

“The deployed cadres in the IEC, I’m afraid, are staling to put the court in an impossible position and to force the courts by saying there’s no enough time. As we sit here today there is enough time, in terms of the IEC’s own time frame, they have said they could hold the registrations, which absolutely essential.

“But the ANC doesn’t want the elections held in October that’s what this is all about, it’s not that they won’t be able to hold the elections.

“We knew that the EFF and the ANC were trying to postpone the elections. We knew that they couldn’t do it the proper way which was to go to parliament and get a suspension of the constitutional clause that requires for the elections to be held by the end of October. So, you know what to do? They went the other way.

“We wanted the elections to be on an appropriate date, from the start. The ICE’s one and only job are to make sure that elections are free and safe in South Africa, that’s its only job.

This pandemic didn’t jump out of anywhere, they’ve had eighteen months knowing that elections were scheduled was coming to prepare for the elections but they haven’t done so. Now they are desperate to get out of their responsibilities,” said Ms Zille in the interview.

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