The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has welcomed the judgment handed down by the Constitutional Court that declares parts of the Electoral Act unconstitutional.

This had prevented people from standing as independents in the national and provincial legislatures.

The SAHRC says in a statement that the dominance of political parties in the process has until now, hindered the development of democracy in South Africa.

The commission also says many poor people who could not afford to pay for the establishment of a political party were excluded.

The Commission says it looks forward to the necessary amendments being effected by Parliament within the required 24 months.

In this video below, court declares parts of the Electoral Act unconstitutional:

‘It is a victory for the constitution’

One South Africa Movement leader Mmusi Maimane has described the court’s decision as historic, saying it is a victory for democracy and the nation.

“It is a historic moment indeed because it gives effect to what democracy is. It defeats state capture that is born out of party capture, because people capture a party, the state and corruption is the natural outcome from that. It is an opportunity for South Africans to be able to say we will bring change to our nation. It is democracy by the people, for the people – not democracy for the parties. It is a victory for the constitution, future generations and our nation,” says Maimane.

The Economic Freedom Fighters says the ruling means the country will have true reflective participation in elections.

“As the EFF we welcome it. We think that this is essentially a part of what democracy should look like. We do not think that it is a threat in any way because what is wrong with independent candidates contesting? It is part of democracy. We think it means that we will have a true reflective participation in both voting and contestation,” says the party’s National Spokesperson, Vuyani Pambo.

In the video below, independent candidates react to judgement:

In the video below, Policy Analyst and Researcher from the Election Monitoring Network, Nkosikhulule Nyembezi discusses court’s ruling: