DA: Threat of infringement is reason enough to take action against IEC

The main opposition iss arguing that the only amendments permitted following the recent Constitutional Court order is for the voters’ registration to take place.

Voting booths setup in the hall of the Pinelands Primary voting station for the 2019 elections on 8 May 2019. Picture: Bertram Malgas/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Democratic Alliance (DA) said it didn't have to wait for the right to vote to be infringed before taking action against the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).

In its responding affidavit filed on Tuesday to the IEC, the African National Congress (ANC), and the cooperative governance minister – the DA said the mere threat of an infringement was enough for it to challenge the commission’s decision to reopen the candidate list.

The main opposition is arguing that the only amendments permitted following the recent Constitutional Court order is for the voters’ registration to take place.

The commission has argued that the DA’s actions are premature and an attempt to second guess it.

South Africa’s apex court dismissed the IEC’s bid to postpone elections to 2022. The commission wanted them pushed back due to COVID-19 concerns.

The DA’s representative in the party liaison committee Werner Horn’s affidavit quickly dismissed the IEC’s case.

In it, he describes some of the commission’s arguments as groundless. These include its view that the DA should wait for a violation or infringement to actually take place and that its application is based on political concerns.

Horn also said the commission was mistaken to assume that the bid was an attempt to strip it of its powers, pointing out that the order sought to only regulate this cycle of elections.

Time is fast running out with many still looking to the Constitutional Court for a sign on the way forward.

And while the highest court in the land had released an order, there was still no full judgement explaining its rationale and approach to the initial arguments.

The IEC’s CEO Sy Mamabolo has also raised concern about time. He said all stakeholders were hoping the court would act or communicate the way forward by Monday.

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