NATIONAL NEWS - The Constitutional Court has found South Africa’s Electoral Act unconstitutional.
This morning’s ruling effectively means that independent candidates will be allowed to contest national and provincial elections without being members of political parties.
Judge Mbuyiseli Madlanga announced the ruling that the electoral act is unconstitutional, and the law must be changed.
He said the declaration is suspended for 24 months to allow for changes in the law to take place.
“This judgement finally allows citizens to chart their own path,” said Mmumsi Maimane, former DA leader.
A little known NGO, the New Nation Movement bought the case to the court.
At the heart of the matter was the constitutionality of the Electoral Act which did not permit eligible South Africans to be elected to the National Assembly and provincial legislatures as independent candidates.
In 2019, the New Nation Movement and others filed with the Constitutional Court an urgent application for leave to appeal a Western Cape High Court decision.
On 17 September 2018, the applicants had approached the high court seeking an order declaring section 57A and Schedule 1A to the Electoral Act unconstitutional because they prevent independent candidates from standing for election to the National Assembly and provincial legislatures.
The high court, however, dismissed the application, stating that the applicants may establish a political party through which they can stand for election to the provincial and national legislatures.
This prompted the applicants to approach the Constitutional Court which concluded that the applicants had failed to make out a case for an urgent hearing.