‘IEC has obligation to give effect to right to establish parties’

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Judge Lebogang Modibe says the Electoral Commission (IEC) has the statutory obligation to give effect to the right to establish political parties. She was delivering judgment in the ANC’s review application to have the uMkhonto weSizwe party deregistered.

The IEC argued that the approach it had taken in registering the uMkhonto weSizwe party was the same one it used with other parties.

However, the African National Congress (ANC) accused the Deputy Chief Electoral Officer of acting outside of his powers when he registered the MK party on a supplemented application.

Modiba said raising a dispute would be prejudicial for a party applying for registration, particularly in the case of the MK party.

She says, “As the electoral commission explained, it has a statutory duty to promote the realisation of these rights hence its approach to applications for registration is to assist applicants to register and not to make it difficult for them to register.”

“If a party who is grieved by the registration of a political party only raises a dispute after the decision to register a political party is made, it could have a prejudicial effect on the realisation of the political rights of the political party applying for registration, particularly in a case such as this one,” she adds.

VIDEO: ANC vs IEC judgment: