Ward 22 by-election postponed again

2013-08-07 00:00

A BY-ELECTION in the Abaqulusi Municipality’s ward 22 has been postponed for a second time.

The country’s highest court, the Constitutional Court, yesterday ruled in favour of former ANC councillor André Lötter when it granted an interim order.

The IEC was ordered to request KZN local government MEC Nomusa Dube to postpone the election, which was scheduled for today.

This is the second time that the election, which was originally scheduled to take place on April 24, has been postponed.

The Witness reported in April that Lötter had asked the Electoral Court to suspend the by-election, alleging that there were irregularities in the voter registration process.

Lötter claimed in court papers that an IEC official had refused to accept his nomination form on April 3, the cut-off date, because he had cash instead of a bank-guaranteed cheque. Lötter had also made allegations that the IEC had allowed more than 2 400 people to register in the ward although they did not live there, and that political parties had bused in people from outside the ward to register for the by-election.

He appealed to the court to nullify the voter registration, to postpone the by-election and to impose sanctions against the ANC and IFP.

At the time, IEC provincial commissioner Mawethu Mosery told The Witness that Lötter was welcome to go to court if he was dissatisfied with its ruling.

According to yesterday’s court ruling, written submissions must be made to the Constitutional Court by August 20 on a range of issues.

These include why the court should not remit the matter to the Electoral Court for it to consider the applicant’s complaint, and that the IEC’s investigation was inadequate and did not comply with the Electoral Court’s order.

Lötter was elated with the court ruling. “This is a great day and a great victory in the fight for sustainable democracy in our beloved country.”

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