Some confusion over the appropriate forum
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Oudtshoorn. 5 December 2012. 05h50. After the Chief Electoral Officer on Monday advised the Independent candidate for Ward 2, Bitou, Francois Geldenhuys, to aproach the Electoral Court with his complaints of DA campaign misconduct, the Court failed to grant Geldenhuys relief last night.
Mr Justice Khayelihle Mthiyane, Deputy President of the SCA and Head of the Electoral Court Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein ruled that alleged breaches of the Code of Conduct are justiciable in the ordinary courts. Therefore Geldenhuys may approach the High Court for an interdict or whatever relief he considers appropriate.
Mthiyane said: “The powers and functions of the Electoral Court are set out in s20 of the Electoral Commissions Act 51 of 1996, from which it is clear that it has appellate powers over decisions taken by the Electoral Commission.
“As it appears that no decision has been taken by the Electoral Commission – which is a conditions precedent for its exerciser of jurisdiction – the court cannot come to the assistance of Mr Geldenhuys.
“He has to approach the right forum.”
Now far be it from lil’ ol’ me to differ with judges and commissioners, but how does this work, purleaze:
The Chief Electoral Officer of the IEC says to go to the Electoral Court; the Electoral Court says to go to the IEC!
Ye gods and faeries, we are living in a Monty Python sketch!
With a 70-year-old Zulu herd boy from KZN running the show it would appear as if the banana republic has indeed arrived.
Further reports and commentary will follow.