June 27, 2024

MK Party should have raised objections before challenging the election results in court

IEC CEO Sy Mamabolo facing court challenges

The Independent Electoral (IEC) has finally filed the responding affidavits opposing the uMkhonto weSizwe Party's application to have the elections nullified. The MK Party had approached the Electoral Court after the May 29 elections, seeking to have the elections declared null and void.


The MK's application has also been challenged by the DA's Federal Council chairperson, Helen Zille,who said her party was opposing the application to declare the recent elections null and void because they had not provided enough evidence to prove that there were irregularities during the counting process. In their papers, the IEC said that MK failed to file an objection before the results were announced. The law states that, "any interested party may make an objection concerning any aspect of an election that is material to the final result of the election." This does not mean that if a party wishes to challenge the results, it can ignore the requirements to object. The section means that where a party wishes to challenge the results, it must first object before it challenges the results.

"Any objection that is material to the determination of the final result of the election and that concerns voting or the counting of votes must be made. Once an objection has been lodged, the Commission must decide the objection and notify the objector and any other parties involved in the objection of the decision, in terms of section 55(4). It is only this decision - the decision of the Commission upon an objection - that can be challenged on review or appeal," the affidavits reads.


Meanwhile, an IEC official appeared before the Pietermaritzburg Magistrates Court yesterday for contravening the Electoral Act. Musawenkosi Mnikathi, was arrested last month in Plessislaer after he was found with ballot paper boxes. He was released on warning, and his case was postponed to 2. July for the magistrate to decide whether to proceed with criminal charges or transfer the case to the Electoral Court.

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