Home South African Electoral Court issues directive for replying affidavits in ATM vs IEC matter

Electoral Court issues directive for replying affidavits in ATM vs IEC matter

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The ATM wants to declare the May general elections null and void. While the Umkhonto weSizwe Party has withdrawn its vote rigging case for now, the ATM has taken its case to the Electoral Court.

ATM president Vuyo Zungula. File picture: Oupa Mokoena, African News Agency (ANA)

THE AFRICAN Transformation Movement (ATM)’s bid to challenge the May election results against the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) received a boost, after the Electoral Court in Bloemfontein issued all the parties with directives to file their answering affidavits.

The ATM wants to declare the May general elections null and void. While the Umkhonto weSizwe Party withdrew its case for now, the ATM has taken its case to the Electoral Court.

In a directive dated July 8, the court instructed respondents to file their answering affidavits by no later than 4pm on Wednesday, July 10.

More than 19 political parties – including the ANC, DA, EFF, IFP, FF Plus, UDM, African Independent Congress, Cope, GOOD, ACDP, PAC, Al Jama-ah, MK Party, ActionSA, Rise Mzansi, Bosa, United Africans for Transformation and the PA – are cited as respondents by the Electoral Court in its directive.

The ATM had yet to provide the court with its evidence of vote rigging and electoral fraud allegations against the commission and possible collusion with the ANC.

The court in its directive stated: “The applicant (the ATM) is directed to file the replying affidavit by no later than 16:00 on Friday, 12 July, 2024. The court reserves the right to dispose of this matter on the papers without referral to (an) oral hearing. Further directives will be issued if necessary.”

It was reported earlier this week that the IEC had taken a decisive stance by requesting that the Electoral Court reject the MK Party’s request to withdraw its court case aimed at overturning the election results.

The MK Party withdrew its case, saying that even though it had mounds of evidence its lawyers required more time to process the information. But party leader Jacob Zuma warned that the case against the IEC would be reopened as the MK Party had found evidence “the size of an elephant” to back its case.

According to the IEC’s chief electoral officer, Sy Mamabolo, the MK Party’s assertion that 9.3 million votes were missing was “patently false”.

After accusing the IEC of “deliberate vote rigging”, the MK Party last Wednesday gave notice to the court that it was withdrawing its case and that it would no longer be challenging the results of the elections.

On Friday, the IEC wrote to the Electoral Court saying the notice of withdrawal was irregular, and asked that it set down the matter for hearing and argument so that the MK Party’s allegations of vote rigging could be publicly ventilated and tested.

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