Voters wait their turn outside a polling station at Nkonjeni village in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. SABC News
The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) says that it will continue to make decisions based on the law and not on popular sentiment.
The Commission was reacting to the judgment of the Constitutional Court handed down today which found that on the basis of Section 11.2 of the Electoral Act, it possesses the statutory powers to reopen the candidate registration and amend the electoral timetable in the way it has done.
The Democratic Alliance however remains suspicious of the Commission’s motives.
With the Constitutional Court’s dismissal of the DA’s application to have the reopening of the candidate list declared unlawful, IEC CEO Sy Mamabolo said clarity as to the impartiality of the Commission has been settled.
“The court held that on the papers before it the impartiality of the Commission could not be impugned, the clarity provided by the Constitutional Court on this matter has laid a solid foundation for all parties to prepare for the elections, for its part the commission will continue to discharge its responsibility with decisions rooted in the Constitution and the law. Such an approach ensures that we remain true to the constitutional duty of delivering free and fair elections.”
IEC welcomes ConCourt ruling on candidates registration:
However, the DA says the matter is not settled and it will be keeping a close eye on the IEC in the run-up to the elections.
“The IEC sets a deadline, it says to the Constitutional Court it can’t possibly change voter registration or candidate registration unless the election is postponed until 2022, when the court says that you can’t change the Constitution beyond the constitutional date of 1 November then suddenly the IEC says well, in that case, we can hold voter registration and because we are holding a voter registration and in case any of those newly registered voters want to stand as candidates then we better open the candidate registration as well. We find that sequence of events interesting and the court also clearly found it interesting and we will be watching that space very closely indeed,” DA Federal Council Chair Helen Zille.
DA’s Werner Horn says the ConCourt could not make a final determination on whether the IEC reopened the process to assist the ANC to take part in elections in all municipalities:
Young people register to vote
Meanwhile, the IEC commended the youth for having have come out in their numbers to register this past weekend to vote in the 1 November local government elections. 1.7 million people answered the call to register with the largest numbers registered in KwaZulu-Natal followed by Gauteng and then the Eastern Cape.
The Commission says a trend of more women than men being registered continues with women forming 52% of the voters roll.
“Young people in the age category 16 to 29 account for 402 000, 401 of new registrations which are 91 % of all new registrations therefore this registration effort has elicited a good response from young persons,” says Mamabolo.
With the proclamation of the election date on Monday, the IEC has outlined the electoral timetable going forward.
“The candidate nomination process will now close at 5pm on 21 September 2021. Final lists of candidates will be published on the 29th of September and candidates will be issued with certificates on the 1st of October 2021, copies of the provisionally compiled voters’ roll will be made available to electoral contestants between the 21st and 23rd of September. The Commission will make decisions in relation to objections made on Friday 24th of September 2021 and the voters roll will then be certified on the 26th of September.”
Special voting applications have also opened on Monday with the IEC urging people to apply for the facility to decongest voting stations on the 1st of November due to the risk presented by COVID-19. Applications close on the 4 October at 5 pm.
IEC briefing on elections: