ConCourt reserves judgement in case that could abort SA’s August elections

By Mike Cohen

(Bloomberg) — South Africa’s highest court reserved judgment in a case that could derail plans to hold local government elections on Aug. 3.

Constitutional Court of South Africa entrance
Constitutional Court of South Africa entrance

The Independent Electoral Commission petitioned the Constitutional Court last month to provide clarity on the electoral rules, after the Electoral Court halted several municipal by-elections when six candidates complained that the vote could be compromised because there were no addresses for more than 4,000 people on the voters’ roll. The hearing adjourned late on Monday in Johannesburg for the judges to consider their ruling, News24 reported on its website.

The electoral commission said it would take four years to verify the details of 6.9 million people whose addresses were missing from the roll, and those citizens shouldn’t lose the right to vote.

“A name on the roll without an address does not imply irregular registration,” Wim Trengove, the commission’s lawyer, told the court on Monday. “We accept that the IEC may only register voters in the voting districts in which they are ordinarily resident. The IEC is not required to verify that information.”

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