BLF to appeal IEC decision on registration for elections

2016-06-06 19:16
IEC voting station.

IEC voting station.

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Cape Town - The Black First Land First (BLF) movement has taken up the IEC's offer to appeal its rejection of the fledgling party's registration for the August 3 local government elections.

"On Friday, we submitted an application for an appeal within the IEC. We will wait for that process before going to the Electoral Court," BLF national co-ordinator Andile Mngxitama told News24 on Monday.

The deadline for the registration of candidates closed at 17:00 on June 2, in accordance with the Electoral Commission of SA's (IEC) election timetable. So far, the IEC had 530 parties registered and was checking candidates' lists for compliance.

The BLF was formed after Mngxitama was thrown out of the Economic Freedom Fighters. Last week, it received a letter from the IEC saying their registration to contest the local government elections had been rejected.

This was because the two-week period for a notice announcing its intention to register, published in the Government Gazette, had not lapsed yet. The notice provided an opportunity for written objections to the party’s registration, or to its logo.

"The key argument in BLF’s favour is that no one knew until 22 May that the minister was going to make the proclamation the next day," Mngxitama said.

After the IEC’s first letter, it sent another, informing the movement of its right to appeal internally, before going to court.

Mngxitama said BLF regarded the situation as being a result of a clash between an administrative and a fundamental constitutional requirement. The former should not be allowed to trample on the latter, he said.

"It is important to point out that once the proclamation is made it sets in motion an elections timetable which in turn requires prior knowledge of the proclamation date so as to allow for due compliance – this is where the gap is located," he told supporters on Facebook.

Mngxitama was expelled from the EFF in April 2015, amid allegations of bringing the party into disrepute.

He was expelled with Khanyisile Litchfield-Tshabalala and Mpho Ramakatsa. All lost their seats as MPs.
Their fellow MP, Lucky Twala, was suspended for three years. This would fall away after a year if he complied with certain conditions.

They had tried to have the EFF's national conference in December 2014 nullified.

Read more on:    cape town  |  local elections 2016

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