Independent candidates in the former Tlokwe Local Municipality in Potchefstroom are opposing the Independent Electoral Commission’s (IEC) application for a ConCourt extension to include verified addresses on the voters roll.
The independent candidates successfully took the address issue to court in 2016. They say the IEC can use the two envelope system as was the case during the then Tlokwe by-election.
One for the ballot paper and the other with the address details. The disputed Tlokwe by-election is still haunting the IEC.
The electoral body has since been compelled to include verified addresses on the voters roll before the 2019 poll. It is now asking the Constitutional Court for an additional seventeen months to comply with the order.
The initial applicants find themselves side-lined from the current court process. “Although we are a party before the court this application excluded the independents. The IEC sighted the fact that they don’t have an interest in this matter which we differ from completely… we have submitted papers, an affidavit and obviously the court must now set a date for the 29 August where the matter will go to the Constitutional Court ,” says Applicants Legal Representative Advocate Hans Jurie Moolman.
With the highly contested 2019 elections on the doorstep, political experts say the IEC faces a tough challenge maintaining its integrity while going ahead with a constitutionally flawed election process. “I believe that the parties and other groupings are going to question the results and then the IEC must provide the necessary verification… in that sense I believe that what happened in Tlokwe after the court decision, the so called two envelope system is a way to go,” says Political Analyst Professor Andre Duvenhage.
The IEC says the addresses of 1.2 million voters still need to be verified. Its application for an extension will be heard by the ConCourt on the 29 August. Click below for more on the story: