Parties feel pinch of being left out of ballot list

South Africa - Cape Town - 23 - March - 2024 - Members of Operation Dadula held a peaceful protest outside the Tygerberg Hospital in Ravensmead. Photographer: Leon Lestrade / Independent Newspapers.

South Africa - Cape Town - 23 - March - 2024 - Members of Operation Dadula held a peaceful protest outside the Tygerberg Hospital in Ravensmead. Photographer: Leon Lestrade / Independent Newspapers.

Published Apr 19, 2024


The United Democratic Movement (UDM) says it sympathises with the five political parties which have been left out of the Electoral Commission’s national and provincial ballot lists for the May 29 elections.

This comes after Arise South Africa (ASA), Mzansi, Operation Dudula (OD), Cape Independence Party (CIP), Defenders of the People (DoP) and Independent South Africa Civic Organisation (ISANCO), were precluded from the contesting the upcoming elections due to discrepancies in the submission of their candidate lists. Another party that has been left out is the AMCU affiliated Labour Party (LB) led by unionist, Joseph Mathunjwa.

According to the IEC the parties had failed to submit their candidate list by the stipulated due date.

On Monday, the Electoral Court dismissed the Labour Party’s application to review the decision of the Electoral Commission not to reopen the portal for submissions.

Mathunjwa said the LP had approached the Constitutional Court in a bid to set aside the electoral timetable and postpone the elections, as the party had fulfilled the necessary requirements even though it had failed to meet the deadline due to alleged glitches with the commission’s online portal.

He told the SABC : “We have paid their deposit and then we uploaded many of those signatures from different provinces, and even nationally. The issue here was those signatures of the list of the people that we put on the list and they just want the original, that’s the only thing. So if the Constitutional Court can say we give Labour Party six hours to conclude what was left, we are ready for them.”

Reacting to the latest developments, UDM leader Bantu Holomisa, said: “The decision undoubtedly represents a significant setback for these parties and their supporters. The UDM sympathises with their loss and recognises the dis-enfranchisement felt by their voters.

“It is imperative that we explore all possible avenues to support and facilitate the participation of new entrants in our democracy, thereby enhancing the democratisation of our nation.”

Early this week, members of Operation Dudula picketed outside the Gauteng High Court as the Electoral Court presided over the matter.

Echoing the sentiments of the Labour Party, the OD said it would force the commission to postpone the elections if the IEC did not put them on the ballot. The party has also referred the matter to the Constitutional Court.

The OD vowed to shutdown the IEC offices and bring the country to a standstill if it was not allowed to contest the elections. IT is one of many political parties awaiting their fate after the electoral court reserved judgment on the matter.

“If push comes to shove, the IEC will probably have to postpone the elections because they cannot print the ballot paper while our case is still in the Constitutional Court.

“We tried to get help from their side, but they failed… Everything is there, all the proof is there that we tried to get help from them but they still dismissed our case. So we are hoping that we are going to get justice in the Constitutional Court.”

The other four other newly formed political parties Arise SA, the Cape Independent Party, the Defenders of the People and the Independent South African National Civic Organisation, are in discussions about contesting their exclusion from participating in the polls to the Constitutional Court.

The parties have also accused the IEC of being captured and not acting in the best interests of a free and fair elections.

IEC Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Sy Mamabolo confirmed that nominations of candidates closed on March 8, 2024, following processes of verification and objection. He said that 70 political parties, and 11 independent candidates were published as final contestants in the coming elections.

Saturday Star