IEC to appeal Tlokwe postponement in ConCourt
The Electoral Court ruled to have the by-elections postponed due to missing addresses on the voters' roll.
CENTURION - The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) says it will file an urgent application in the Constitutional Court to appeal the postponement of municipal by-elections in Tlokwe in the North West.
Last week, the Electoral Court ruled to have the by-elections postponed after it was discovered that more than 4,000 addresses were missing from the voters roll.
Last year, the same court ordered the IEC to list the addresses of all voters to ensure no member of the public casts their ballot outside their own district.
IEC Chairperson Glen Mashinini says the commission's appeal will provide clarity on the order from the electoral court, which calls for voter addresses to be registered.
"… and secondly, whether the lack of an address on the voters' roll invalidates that voters' roll."
While the IEC had listed the addresses of many Tlokwe voters, Mashinini says the body wants to understand how to deal with those without addresses.
"Suppose a person is a destitute person and does not have a home or an address. What does the judgment mean?"
It says the clarity gained from this urgent appeal will not only impact the voters' roll in the North West town alone, but across South Africa.
ALL SYSTEMS GO FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT ELECTIONS
The IEC says its plans to appeal the postponement of the Tlokwe by-elections won't disrupt preparations for this year's local government elections.
While the body works to gain clarity on the operational aspects of its voters' roll, it says it's ready for voter registration this weekend.
The IEC's vice chairperson, Terry Tselane, says this year's municipal elections aren't expected to be impacted by the ruling on the by-elections in Tlokwe.
"There has never been a consideration to postpone the election. That question has never arisen, and it will not arise."
Mashinini has urged eligible voters to use this weekend to update their addresses and other details.
"The commission is also considering additional opportunities for voters to register and update their information."
The commission says it has already started implementing initiatives to update the national voters roll with as many addresses as possible.