FUL to political parties: ConCourt not an umpire for political matches

Advocacy group Freedom Under Law (FUL) said that political players could not act without any considerations of the consequences of their actions on the country.

FILE: The Constitutional Court. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Advocacy group Freedom Under Law (FUL) has rebuked some of the country’s political parties, arguing that the Constitutional Court was not the appropriate forum for bold political contestation.

On Thursday, it said that political players could not act without any considerations of the consequences of their actions on the country.

It’s joined the matter brought forward by the Democratic Alliance (DA) to the apex court in an attempt to halt the IEC from re-opening the candidate list.

This move benefits the African National Congress (ANC), which missed out on meeting the IEC deadline to register all its councillor candidates for the local government polls.

FUL wants the court to not entertain the bid brought forward by the main opposition.

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FUL’s chief executive, Nicole Fritz, said that political players in the country shouldn’t turn the highest court in the land into an umpire and referee in a political match.

“Political parties have a responsible role to play as constitutional actors and they cannot make these claims, whether in court papers or public discourse.”

Her views were echoed in the FUL’s affidavit to the Constitutional Court, where it accused political parties of lawfare.

And while the DA comes under fire in the documents over its decision to launch the bid challenging the IEC, the ANC is lambasted for failing to recognise its role in the crisis.

The advocacy group said that the governing party, which had been thrown a lifeline through the recent development, should have approached the court with humility, accusing it of seeking to score further political points through seeking punitive costs from the DA.

FUL notes that were it not for this development, the ANC would not be able to contest 598 wards and 20 municipalities.

The Constitutional Court is yet to say if the direct access parties have applied for in the urgent matter will be granted.

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