S. African party takes election commission to court

Outside the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, which was hearing the case, more than 100 party supporters braved the rains, dancing and singing.

S. African party takes election commission to court

World Bulletin / News Desk

The newly formed Economic Freedom Fighters Party (EFF) has taken South Africa's Independent Electoral Commission to court on Tuesday for charging high compulsory registration fees for political parties wishing to contest the elections.

"The Government gives a lot of money to political parties that already have representation in parliament," EFF spokesman Mike Mathebe told Anadolu Agency.

"So, we want them to consider the poor political parties that cannot afford to pay the huge sums of registration fees," he added.

He said the party’s lawyers had filed an urgent application with the court last week and the first court hearing was held on Tuesday.

According to the South African electoral law, political parties intending to contest in an election are required to pay R45,000 (roughly $4,200) per province and R.200,000 ($18,500) at the national level.

Kate Bapela, spokeswoman for the Electoral Commission, confirmed the court case.

"We are aware of the matter, but we cannot comment at the moment because the matter is before the court," she told AA.

According to a media statement posted on the commission's website, political parties intending to contest in the 7 May national and provincial elections have one week to submit their candidate lists and pay their deposits.

Outside the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, which was hearing the case, more than 100 party supporters braved the rains, dancing and singing.

"Our lawyers are handing over our papers challenging the electoral body and we are here to show them our support and solidarity," Malume Mike, a middle-aged protester, told AA.

Wearing red T-shirts and caps, they sang revolutionary songs and lauded their party leader Julius Malema, a former President of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) Youth League.

Malema was expelled from the party months ago on grounds of bringing the party into dispute.

Some of the protesters mocked South African President Jacob Zuma as they danced and whistled.

Last Mod: 05 Mart 2014, 10:08
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