SOUTH AFRICA: African National Congress withdraws legal bid for extension of its aspirants registration

ANC’s leadership fails to convince IEC to reopen its registration process on time [image@ancpartysouhafrica/Twitter]
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa—The African National Congress has withdrawn a legal application urging the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to extend its timetable for submission of party candidate lists.

Through a confirmation to South Africa’s newsrooms, ANC’s national spokesperson Pule Mabe said they opted to wait for a constitutional court’s judgment on a separate application brought forward by the IEC for the elections to be postponed until February 2022.

The legal bid came after ANC failed to convince the IEC to reopen its registration processes on 24 August, with the commission saying this would leave too little time to print the 78-million ballots that must be delivered to 23,121 voting stations in time for the local government elections, which are currently scheduled for 27 October.

In an affidavit filed by the ANC deputy secretary-general, Jessie Duarte argues that the commission despite being informed the party had faced registration challenges, still failed to act in the manner that would rectify the position to ensure elections would be free and fair.

ANC had argued, the municipal election timetable set by the IEC threatened its right to contest in the elections.

The party wanted the court to direct IEC to amend its election timetable and provide for an extended period of 36 hours, or a time deemed by the court as just and equitable, within which the ANC and any other affected party may submit candidate lists and make requisite deposits.

ANC failed to register all its candidates on Monday claiming that Covid-19 and technical glitches are to blame.

It is still unclear when the constitutional court will hand down a verdict.