The Electoral Court has postponed the controversial by-elections that were scheduled to be held in the Tlokwe Municipality for a period of six weeks.
The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has subsequently decided to postpone all by-elections.
What does this mean for the 2016 Municipal elections?
The Electoral Court made a determination that the IEC request the North West Provincial Government to postpone the by-elections until all candidates in the Tlokwe Municipal by-elections are provided with “a copy or segment of the voters’ roll to be used in their respective wards in the municipal by-elections, including the addresses of all voters, where these addresses are available”.
At this stage the voters roll country wide, including Kouga, does not include the addresses of the all the voters.
The Court made this ruling after evidence was presented of voters being bussed into a particular ward and registering to vote in that ward.
Without addresses on the voters role, this kind of voter fraud will be difficult to monitor and can lead to elections being unfair and unduly influenced.
The integrity of the voters roll is of utmost importance in a constitutional democracy governed by the Rule of Law. Free and fair elections are bedrock of any democracy.
“The DA will obtain legal clarity about what exactly the judgement of the Electoral Court means.
This judgement has far reaching implications for democracy in our country,” said James Selfe from the DA.
At this stage it not possible to predict whether the 2016 Municipal Elections will be postponed or not. According to the Constitution of South Africa, the elections have to be held not later that August 2016.