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Judgment reserved in NFP elections case

The NFP was challenging its exclusion in next week's local government elections in the Electoral Court.

NFP supporters are pictured outside the South Gauteng High Court on 29 July 2016. Picture: Thando Kubheka/EWN.

PRETORIA - Judgment has been reserved in case involving the National Freedom Party (NFP) and the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) at the South Gauteng High Court.

The NFP was challenging its exclusion in next week's local government elections in the Electoral Court.

The IEC told the court it had no choice but to disqualify the NFP, as the party failed to pay the necessary fees on time to contest in the polls.

Lawyers representing the NFP have told the court that exceptional circumstances led to the party not paying a deposit on time, to allow it to take part in the elections next week.

The lawyers have asked the court to set aside the IEC's failure to use its discretion to amend the electoral timetable.

The NFP claims its treasurer, Xolani Ndlovu, didn't pay the deposit in order to sabotage the party in favour of its rival, the Inkatha Freedom Party.

However, the IEC says this doesn't change the law that every party had to abide by.

At the same time, lawyers representing the IEC have told the Electoral Court it would be unconstitutional for the commission to amend its timetable.

The party has asked the electoral court to grant it permission for the IEC to amend its timetable.

The IEC says if it amends its timetable to accommodate the NFP, there will be no elections next week which would go against the country's Constitution.