The IEC who confirmed this yesterday said Andile Mngxitama was barred because he only registered the BLF last Friday and that the political party was unable to provide some legal requirements needed for it to be registered with the chapter nine institution.
“In order for a party to be registered‚ a notice needs to be published in the government gazette. The notice must lie for 14 days before the Chief Electoral Officer can consider the application‚” IEC spokesperson Sy Mamabolo explained.
He also added that the notice has to include the party’s name and its distinguishing emblem. Once the notice is filed‚ the IEC checks that the party’s emblem and name do not resemble that of existing political parties.
“Mr Mngxitama only published the notice on the 27th (May) and the 14 days lapses on the 10th of June. Unfortunately‚ he cannot submit his party’s candidate list. That is the law‚” Mamabolo said.
Mamabolo however said that Mngxitama’s party was not banned but was only barred from participating in the municipal election and would be registered on June 10.
Meanwhile, the BLF says it is not content with the reasons given by the IEC for barring them.
Speaking to Radio 702‚ the party leader Mngxitama said he was not aware of why his party was unable to take part in the August 3 local government elections.
“I wish we knew. All we know is that it’s a political decision by the Electoral Commission to exclude us‚” Mngxitama said.
The party therefore moved the case to the North Gauteng High Court on an urgent basis after receiving a letter from the commission.
“Only the Electoral Commission can tell us but it seems to us it’s a combination of an administrative bungle and general indifference to fundamental questions because for two weeks they haven’t said a word to us about the status of our registration process.”
On the other hand, the IEC says it had no choice because the law says a new party can only be registered two weeks after its name and logo are published in the government gazette. This is to allow other parties to object if they believe their emblems are being copied.
Deputy electoral officer for operations Sy Mamabolo further said that the Institutions are subject to the law. In the same way, the chief electoral officer is subject to the same law. Therefore, it would be irregular of him to expedite the registration of the party before the 14 days have lapsed.