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NFP to learn its local government election fate today

The NFP is challenging the IEC's decision to exclude the party from taking part in the polls.

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

JOHANNESBURG - The National Freedom Party (NFP) will know by the end of today whether it will be able to contest next week's local government elections.

The NFP is challenging, in the Electoral Court, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC)'s decision to exclude the party from taking part in the polls.

The IEC says it had no choice but to disqualify the party because it failed pay the necessary fees on time.

Lawyers representing the IEC have emphasised that it would be a constitutional crisis if the commission were to bend its electoral timetable.

The NFP has accused its treasurer, Xolani Ndlovu, of sabotaging the party in favour of its rival, the Inkatha Freedom Party.

The party claims other political parties, including the African National Congress, support its application.

However, the IEC says it's bound by law to carry out free and fair election and cannot give preferential treatment to any party.

The IEC adds if the court grants the NFP an order to take part in the elections the polls won't be able to go ahead as the ballot papers will have to be reprinted.