Electoral court reserves judgment in NFP's appeal

2016-07-01 16:30
A small group of NFP members have gathered at the Gugu Dlamini Park in Durban to protest against the IEC's decision to disqualify it after the party failed to pay the deposit. (Amanda Khoza, News24)

Durban – Judgment has been reserved in the matter involving the National Freedom Party and the Independent Electoral Commission, the party’s spokesperson Sabelo Sigudu said on Friday.

“They heard both sides and I think they need time to make a fair decision that is not biased. They did not say when the matter will be heard again, but it will be before August 3,” said Sigudu.  

The NFP appeared at the Electoral Court in Bloemfontein on Friday where it challenged the Electoral Commission of SA’s (IEC) decision to disqualify it from the August 3 local government elections after it failed to pay the R400 000 deposit before the payment deadline.

Parties had to submit their candidate lists and pay their deposit by June 2. Those who failed to meet the deadline were immediately disqualified from taking part in the elections.

On Thursday NFP members picketed against the IEC's decision. The party pleaded for calm and was confident that the court would rule in its favour.  

It emerged on Tuesday that the party’s national executive committee led by Maliyakhe Shelembe, Nhlanhla Khubisa, and Xolani Ndlovu were responsible for making the payment.

In 2009, the IEC disqualified the Western Cape ANC from taking part in by-elections after failing to pay its deposit.

In 2011, the IFP was disqualified from contesting elections in the Umzumbe municipality on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast. It had failed to submit its candidate list to the IEC by the closing date.

South Africans were first introduced to NFP's Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi, a former school principal and mayor in Zululand, in 2011.

KaMagwaza-Msibi, who is also deputy science and technology minister, left the Inkatha Freedom Party just before the 2011 local government elections. Her party formed a coalition with the ANC after there were 19 hung municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal.

The ANC recently said it intended not to co-govern municipalities with any parties.

Since its formation, the NFP has been plagued by internal battles for positions, with leaders taking each other to court.

The party suffered a further blow when kaMagwaza-Msibi suffered a stroke in November 2014.

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