Independent candidates ruling won't impact 2019 elections

On Thursday, the Constitutional Court found the applicants failed to show urgency in the matter, which was dismissed by the Western Cape High Court in April.

FILE: Picture: @GovernmentZA/Facebook.com.

JOHANNESBURG - The postponed application for independent candidates to take part in the elections by the Constitutional Court will have no bearing on upcoming elections.

On Thursday, the court found the applicants failed to show urgency in the matter, which was dismissed by the Western Cape High Court in April.

The New Nation Movement, Khoi leader Chantal Dawn, and others filed an urgent application to the apex court, asking it to hear their submissions seeking to set aside parts of the Electoral Act as unconstitutional and invalid.

The Constitutional Court postponed the matter that had the potential to delay the elections by months to 15 August.

Dawn and others filed an urgent application in the apex court asking it to hear their submissions seeking to set aside parts of the Electoral Act relating to the exclusion of independent candidates from taking part in the provincial and national polls.

During the hearing on Thursday, Constitutional Court justices raised a concern with the serious impact of their decision to hear the matter on an urgent basis.

“I just want to find out if it would be feasible and practical to amend the Electoral Act in unrelated legislation before August 2019. Parliament has been dissolved, so, if you postpone for three months, what’s going to happen?”

Advocate Alan Nelson SC, who argued for some of the applicants, said his clients had since September 2018 done everything in their power for the matter to be settled, including proposing that the issue be resolved through a judicially supervised mediation process.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)