DA welcomes Electoral Court ruling, calls IEC 'inconsistent and lethargic'

2019-06-21 14:16
Patricia de Lille. (Adrian de Kock, Netwerk24/Gallo Images)

Patricia de Lille. (Adrian de Kock, Netwerk24/Gallo Images)

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The DA has welcomed the Electoral Court ruling setting aside the Electoral Commission of SA's (IEC) decision on what has become known as the De Lille telemarketing case.

Good party leader Patricia de Lille - a former DA mayor - had complained to the commission about the DA's telemarketing, alleging that the script that call centre personnel used stated that she had been fired and was guilty of wrongdoing.

When canvassers were asked about infighting and De Lille, they were allegedly told to respond: "We fired Patricia de Lille because she was involved in all sorts of wrongdoing in the City of Cape Town. The DA doesn't allow corruption and will take action against anyone, even our own members."

In a statement after the judgment, DA MP James Selfe said: "In April, the IEC ruled that the DA's comment was 'fasle' and issued a directive that the party not only 'cease and desist' from making such comments, but that the DA apologises."

"The Electoral Court found that the IEC had no power or authority to adjudicate this matter nor did it have the power to issue remedial action. Further to this, the judgment found that the statement was permissible in terms of free speech and therefore did not have any bearing on the outcome of the election itself.

"The Electoral Court ruling now sets an important precedent for the future conduct of the IEC," read the statement.

"Throughout the election period, the IEC conducted itself in an inconsistent and lethargic manner when dealing with complaints brought to its attention, despite prima facie evidence of violations of the code of conduct by political parties."

News24 previously reported that, in its ruling, the Electoral Court clarified the powers of the commission and interpreted what type of information could not be falsely disseminated during an election.

De Lille announced that she was leaving the DA on October 31, last year - the same day she resigned as the mayor of Cape Town after reaching an agreement with the party after months of acrimony. She later founded the Good party.

De Lille was recently appointed Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure.

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Read more on:    da  |  iec  |  patricia de lille  |  elections 2019  |  politics
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