82 objections to candidates nominated for 2024 elections – IEC

Commission has written to the objectors, candidates and the nominating parties to advise them of its determinations

Electoral Commission on objections to candidates nominated for 2024 national and provincial elections

28 March 2024

The Electoral Commission confirms that is has received 82 objections in relation to candidates nominated by 21 political parties.

The objection process is one among the various milestones in the process of candidate nomination which closed at 17h00 on 8 March 2024. In the intervening period, the Commission has validated the details of the nominated candidates, advised nominating parties of instances where they nominated candidates who also appeared on the list of another party or who were nominated as independent candidates.

The process of candidate nomination was to a large extent driven by political parties through the Online Candidate Nomination System (OCNS). This means that party administrators were responsible for capturing party candidates, generating payment documents, uploading supporting documents and finally submitting to the Commission. Throughout the nomination process parties had total autonomy on their lists until they were finally submitted. Only seven (7) political parties submitted their nomination documents manually with 79 doing so through the OCNS.

Objections to candidates follow a legally prescribed scheme in terms of both the Electoral Act and the Constitution. Section 30(1) and 31E of the Electoral Act, provide the grounds on which an objection may be raised. These are:

a candidate did not sign the prescribed acceptance of nomination;

there is no prescribed undertaking signed by a candidate that they are bound by the Code of Conduct; and

a candidate is not qualified to stand in the election.

Section 47 and 106 of the Constitution set out the eligibility criteria and qualification for the national assembly and provincial legislature respectively. They provide that every citizen who is qualified to vote for the national assembly and/or provincial legislature is eligible to stand for election except:

anyone who has been declared to be of unsound mind by a court of the Republic;

unrehabilitated insolvents;

any person who was convicted of an offence and sentenced to more than 12 months imprisonment without the option of a fine. This disqualification ends five years after the sentence has been completed. This ground of disqualification does not extend to persons who are yet to be sentenced and those, while sentenced are yet to exhaust appeal mechanisms available to them.

Of the 82 objections received, 74 were submitted on time. At total of 8 objections were submitted after the cut off time.

Despite many of the objections not meeting the prescribed format for submission, the Commission has in keeping with its obligation to ensure free and fair elections, considered whether substantively the objections met the criteria in the constitution and the law.

Substantively, the statistics on objections received reveal the following trends:

No objections were received, claiming that candidates were unrehabilitated insolvents.

Similarly, no objections were received with allegations that one or more candidates on the lists had been declared to be of unsound mind by a court of the Republic.

A total of 31 objections implicating 8 candidates alleged that candidates were not qualified owing to criminal records and or convictions.

The Commission dismissed objections in relation to 7 candidates and sustain one objection.

Chairperson Mosotho Moepya said the Commission could only act within the confines of the law and the Constitution. The Commission has written to the objectors, candidates and the nominating parties to advise them of its determinations. Any objector, party or candidate aggrieved by the decision of the Commission may appeal the decision with the Electoral Court by 02 April 2024.

The process of candidate nomination will culminate with the Commission releasing the lists of political parties and candidates that will appear on the various ballot papers. These lists will be published on 10 April 2024.

A novel feature in NPE2024 is that independent candidates will contest for seats in the National Assembly and provincial legislatures. Six independent candidates will contest for seats in the National Assembly and six will contest the provincial legislature elections.

We once again remind voters that they may only vote at a voting station in which they are registered. Voters who will unavoidably be away from their voting districts on election day may give notice of their intention to vote at another identified voting station by 17 May 2024.

The Electoral Code of Conduct has been in effect since the February 23 proclamation of the election date. On 04 April 2024, the Commission will convene all contestants to a special ceremony where they will publicly pledge to adhere to the Code of Conduct as well as to get their members and supporters to act in a manner that is consistent with the Code.

Issued by Kate Bapela on behalf of IEC, 28 March 2024