‘We can’t have free and fair elections’

2014-05-02 00:00

THE man who wants next Wednesday’s general elections postponed was adamant yesterday that there could be no free and fair elections in the country under the current commissioners of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).

André Lötter said the commission has failed to put in place measures to guarantee the credibility of the voters’ roll.

“We can’t [in South Africa] have free and fair elections with the voters’ roll under this current commission,” Lötter said in reference to irregularities found in voter registrations in some wards last year.

He filed his court papers with the Electoral Court on Wednesday and gave the IEC until yesterday to oppose his challenge.

Lötter yesterday said the IEC had not filed its notice to oppose his legal action as at 10 am, and that he gave it until today to do so. The matter is set to be heard on Monday.

The IEC did not respond to questions regarding the latest court challenge.

Lötter had twice successfully interdicted by-elections in the Abaqulusi Municipality on grounds of irregular voter registration.

Although the electoral body had ordered investigation on the unlawful registration, there has been no punitive action against those responsible for transporting people to the ward.

In his latest court papers, he has asked for the general elections postponed for 90 days.

He also wants all the five commissioners be removed from office.

It is the second time he has made the call for the removal of commissioners in his protracted fight with the IEC in his many court challenges since last year when he contested the by-elections in Abaqulusi Municipality.

In his papers, he has cited the IEC and the five commissioners led by chairperson Pansy Tlakula as respondents.

But, offices or people that may have an interest in the matter such as the presidency and home affairs department are not on the list of respondents.

Lötter said the IEC has on about 17 occasions proved incompetent to organise free, fair and regular elections at municipal level due to its inability to prevent large-scale unlawful voter registrations.

He said the IEC had not implemented initiatives to prevent fraudulent voters being added to the voters’s roll.

Lötter said South African citizens’ political rights stood to suffer injury if the national and provincial elections went ahead.

“Such incompetence has resulted in a serious weakening of constitutional democracy on the municipal level,” he said.

“Moreover, the commission has neglected to put in place a nationwide remedy to such local-level failures, namely a system guaranteeing the veracity of the national common voters’ roll.

He also said the commission had made itself guilty of misconduct and incompetence, which were grounds for its removal.

“There is no other remedy other than to remove the commissioners and postpone the elections.”

He added that the postponement would be costly but it could be far more costly to the democratic system and have direct financial costs.

The IEC is already facing another challenge from some opposition parties that want chairperson Pansy Tlakula to resign, and the IFP has also threatened legal action over the hiring of teachers aligned to SA Democratic Teachers Union as electoral officers.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.