FF Plus vs BLF: Battle rages on after high court showdown

2019-05-06 08:22
Peter Marais Pieter Groenewald
Peter Marais and FF Plus leader Pieter Groenewald. (Jan Gerber, News24)

Freedom Front Plus (FF Plus) leader Pieter Groenewald will announce his party's next move in it's fight against the registration of the Black First Land First (BLF) political party on Monday. 

In its bid to have the BLF deregistered, the FF Plus approached the Electoral Court last Monday where it argued that the registration of the BLF was not published in the Government Gazette. 

The FF Plus were arguing that there were procedural irregularities regarding the registration of BLF and were calling for it to not be part of the May 8 elections. 

The party had previously approached the IEC appealing the decision of the chief electoral officer's decision to have the BLF a registered political party.

The Electoral Court, sitting in the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg, set aside a decision by the IEC to dismiss the FF Plus' appeal.

Chief presiding officer Judge Boissie Henry Mbha ruled that there was a failure to publish the registration of BLF in the Government Gazette by the IEC. 

The court did not look into the merits of the matter and ruled that the IEC publishes the decision to register BLF in terms of Section 15 of the Electoral Commission Act 51 of 1996. 

READ: 'There is nothing that they can do to stop us' - BLF not deterred by court ruling

The act stipulates that a political party's application to have it registered must be published in the government gazette.  It also states that political party's who wish to object such registration do so within 14 days of publication. 

BLF's application to have it a registered party was published in May 2016 and no party had objected, the IEC had argued. 

The act however also states that once a party's application to register is approved, as with the case of the BLF, the chief electoral officer must then publish that decision. This was not done by the IEC and the court has ruled that it corrects the error. 

The court's decision did not nullify the registration of the BLF. 

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