Smaller parties yet to take legal action against IEC

The IEC Results Operations Centre in Pretoria.
The IEC Results Operations Centre in Pretoria.
Image: Ziphozonke Lushaba

The political parties that threatened to take the Independent Electoral Commission to court over voting irregularities are yet to do so.

The Commission's spokesperson Kate Bapela said they were yet to receive any communication from legal representatives of the parties.

“I’m not aware of any legal process or any matter that deals with an objection but as and when that happens, the IEC will then deal with that,” said Bapela.

PODCAST: Smaller parties suspect fraud

Her remarks come after a number of political newcomers aired their frustrations with the IEC for its handling of the voting processes and said they would take their grievances to the electoral court.

However, at the time of publishing, there was no indication from the party representatives as to when they would approach the court.

The parties held an impromptu media briefing on Thursday evening led by African Transformation Movement member Mzwanele Manyi and other leaders from International Revelation Party, African Content Movement, Black First Land First and Freedom 4 Service Delivery among others, to deliberate their grievances and objections.

A record number of 48 parties appeared on the ballot this year, but smaller parties who had hoped to draw large numbers in the elections, were disappointed when the scoreboard reflected the opposite of what they had anticipated.

Bapela said if the disgruntled parties decide to take the legal route, it may not necessarily be an issue for the IEC to postpone releasing the results which are expected to be announced on Saturday.

“At the moment we are still looking at the various reports that must come through so that when we release the results, they are solid and have integrity,” she said.

“We are still within the law even if we release the results on Tuesday. Section 51 of the Electoral Act allows us seven days window period to release the results,” added Bapela.

At the time of going to print, the total percentage of vote counting stood at 85.26% nationally.

Opposition parties raised their concerns regarding the eligibility of the 2019 election as well as the media coverage of their campaigns.

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