The ANC released a statement on Wednesday (1 September) that dismissed the “contemptuous” comments made by the DA’s Helen Zille. The former leader of the opposition party alleged that the ANC withdrew their application to the electoral court due to a leak from the Constitutional Court that supposedly tipped them off that the municipal elections would be pushed back until next year.
A little afer 08:00 on Wednesday morning, Zille took to Twitter and wrote that one of South Africa’s leading Afrikaans newspapers “didn’t mince its words” in its coverage of the ANC’s withdrawal of its electoral court application, which the party said was lodged after it and “a number of parties failed to register all their candidates for local government elections.”
“In its headline, it suggests that the ANC must have received inside information from the Constitutional Court, which led to the ANC withdrawing its case before the electoral court to re-open candidate registration. The context is this. If the ConCourt enables the IEC to postpone the election, then it presses the “re-set” button and it issues a new timetable, which will enable the ANC to re-register its candidates. So the ANC would not have to get permission from the Elec Court. The ANC’s withdrawal from the Electoral Court indicates that they have been tipped off that the IEC’s application to postpone the election was successful. If information is leaking from the Concourt to the ANC, it is nothing short of an Constitutional crisis,” said Zille.
The ANC National Spokesperson, Pule Mabe said that the party did not take kindly to Zille’s accusations and rejected it, adding that the insinuations made are devoid of the truth and challenging her to withdraw the allegations.
“This is a grave insult to the integrity of the Constitutional Court, and the judiciary in general,” said Mabe. “She should be ashamed of herself. We challenge her to withdraw these spurious allegations.”
The Constitutional Court is currently considering the IEC’s application to postpone the upcoming elections until February 2022 after the former Deputy Chief Justice’s inquiry found that the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic would not allow elections to be free and fair if it is held on 27 October 2021.
Mabe said that the ANC decided to withdraw its application to the electoral court to avoid “a proliferation of litigation” before the courts and will await the Constitutional Court’s judgment.
“We reserve our right to pursue further remedies,” said Mabe.
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