The National Freedom Party (NFP) has been confirmed to have been disqualified from contesting in the August 3 local government elections for failing to meet up with IEC’s deadline for payment of required fees for participation.
This was confirmed by the KwaZulu-Natal Chief Electoral Officer Mawethu Mosery who said on Tuesday night that the IFP breakaway party has been disqualified from the 2016 local government elections by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).
NFP failed to remit the required sum of R92 000 to enable its candidate contest the August 3 municipal polls in Kwazulu-Natal. The deadline for this remittance was June 2.
“The NFP failed to pay during the stipulated timeframe and because they miss that deadline they have been disqualified,” said Mosery.
“This means that the NFP will not be part of local government after the August 3 elections results are announced,” he said, adding that the party is free to approach the electoral court or even the high court if unhappy with the IEC’s decision.
Meanwhile, NFP’s spokesperson Sabelo Sibugu said the party isn’t broke, but missed the IEC deadline because of a leadership crisis within the party.
Sibugu blasted the party leaders for submitting the required IEC documents and deposit to the last minute. “We told our leaders not to use the online system as to avoid such issues, but no one listened,” said Sibugu.
According to IEC rules, political parties are required to pay a deposit of R4000 for a metropolitan municipality or R2000 for a local council election, which covers all ward and proportional representation elections in that metropolitan or local council election.
BuzzSouthAfrica gathered that the NFP’s registration fee amounted to just under a R100 000 and the NFP said that it had paid a cheque to the IEC within the required deadline, but the cheque bounced.
When the IEC notified the party last week that it had not received the NFP’s deposit, another payment was immediately made. The party said that it has already invested a lot of money and time in campaigning for the elections, and it is confident the IEC will reserve its decision.
The NFP stands as the second party to be disqualified by the IEC. The Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) was disqualified after it reportedly failed to comply with the electoral commission’s participation requirements.
Meanwhile, Mosery confirmed that 2000 candidates had been disqualified from contesting the elections in KwaZulu-Natal.
While some had been disqualified to stand as candidates as they were not registered to vote, others were not registered to vote in the municipalities where they were seeking election.
Some did not even reach the required threshold of 50 signatures to enable them to be registered as candidates for the elections.