Revolutionary greetings Azanian warriors. Firstly, we wish to thank all those who have worked very hard to ensure our movement was able to submit candidates to contest the 2016 LGE. However, today ended with the IEC blocking our movement from participating in the LGE.
In the afternoon today the CEO of the IEC sent an email informing BLF that it has taken a decision to exclude our movement from contesting the 2016 LGE. We then approached the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on an urgent application but the judge argued that the court had no jurisdiction to hear the matter. This left BLF with the option to approach the Electoral Court which sits in Bloemfontein. It was already after hours but we managed to get hold of the Clerk of the Electoral Court who advised that an appeal of the IEC decision maybe lodged within three days. This is what we shall do because BLF has a very strong case. It was only on 14 May at our National Conference this year that our movement ratified its previous decision to contest elections, and to this end lodged an application with the IEC on 20 May. Three days later the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Des van Rooyen, proclaimed the date for the 2016 LGE. This meant that BLF had not sat out the 14 day’s period meant for objections. The key argument in BLF’s favour is that no one knew until 22 May that the Minister was going to make the proclamation the next day. In this regard the absence of the relevant prior knowledge is prejudicing the BLF to the extent that it is serving to exclude the BLF from the electoral process. There is no legal prescription or policy guide regulating when the Minister should make his proclamation. It’s purely at the discretion of the Minister. This is a blatant administrative uncertainty! It is important to point out that once the proclamation is made it sets in motion an elections timetable which in turn requires prior knowledge of the proclamation date so as to allow for due compliance – this is where the gap is located.
The point is BLF should not in the circumstances be excluded from the LGE process due to administrative hurdles in the system that go against the spirit of free and fair elections. In short we say to all our candidates and volunteers it’s not the end of the road yet. We shall put up the necessary battle. We shall update all in the next few days of progress.
BLF affirms and will constantly strive to remind our people that while participation in the electoral process is important it is nonetheless a small part of the revolutionary process. We soldier through participation with the objective of creating “a second arm of assault” against the system – with the extra parliamentary process being paramount for BLF.
ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL COORDINATING COMMITTEE OF THE BLACK FIRST LAND FIRST MOVEMENT
2 June 2016
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