ConCourt: We never implied candidate registration date may not be extended

The apex court delivered a unanimous decision earlier on Monday, dismissing the main opposition’s application to prevent the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) from reopening the councillor candidate list.

FILE: An IEC electoral officer counts ballot papers at the Addington Primary School after voting ended in the sixth national general elections in Durban on 8 May 2019. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - The Constitutional Court said that contrary to the Democratic Alliance (DA)’s application, it never implied that the candidate cut-off date may not be extended.

The apex court delivered a unanimous decision earlier on Monday, dismissing the main opposition’s application to prevent the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) from reopening the councillor candidate list.

The African National Congress (ANC) had failed to meet the IEC’s 23 August deadline.

A conditional application by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), which was dismissed in the 3 September court order, was one of the anchors of the DA’s argument which has now been rejected by the Constitutional Court.

That application sought to compel changes to the Disaster Management Act regulations to allow for more people to gather in order for political parties to campaign. The EFF also wanted the candidate registration to be extended.

On Monday, the ConCourt said that that order was not a judicial determination and did not imply that the cut-off date could not be extended.

At least nine political parties stand to benefit from this decision, with the ANC being the biggest benefactor as it had failed to register candidates for municipalities across the country.

They now have until 5pm on Tuesday to submit their lists to the IEC.

The Constitutional Court awarded a no-cost order.

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