Monday, March 16, 2009

Freedom Front Plus Party Challenges Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's Candidacy on the ANC Ticket for April 22

FF+ objects to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela

The Freedom Front Plus will object to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) against the inclusion of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela on the ANC's national elections list.

"The FF Plus is of the opinion that Madikizela-Mandela does not qualify in terms of section 47(1)(e) of the Constitution (108 of 1996)," FF Plus spokesman Pieter Groenewald said on Monday.

The section clearly determined that anybody found guilty of a crime and given a prison sentence of more than 12 months without the option of a fine did not qualify to be a member of the National Assembly.

"The relevant section determines that the disqualification ends only five years after a sentence is served.

"The complaint will, as is required by the Electoral Act, be submitted to the ANC and the Independent Electoral Commission," Groenewald said.

The ANC, menawhile, pledged to respond to the Freedom Front Plus' complaint.

"The ANC will respond to any objections lodged against any of its candidates through the process set down in law and according to the timetable set out by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC)," ANC spokeswoman Jessie Duarte said.

The ANC had made every effort to ensure that its list of candidates was compliant with all relevant provisions of the Constitution and Electoral Act, she said.

The process for choosing ANC candidates for this election was the most extensive and democratic of any party in the country.

"The members of the ANC have chosen a corps of cadres who have the experience, resolve and credibility to serve the South African people capably and with diligence," Duarte said.

Earlier on Monday, Madikizela-Mandela's nomination by the ANC on its election list for the National Assembly appeared to have been approved by the IEC despite her criminal record.

On the official provisional list of candidates published on Monday the ex-wife of former president Nelson Mandela appears in fifth place for the African National Congress, just after Finance Minister Trevor Manuel and ahead of Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

Legal experts have warned that her conviction for fraud makes her ineligible for a seat in the legislature.

The popular ANC veteran had a five-year sentence for fraud and theft reduced on appeal to three-and-a-half years for 43 convictions for fraud in July 2004.

The sentence was suspended for five years.

The ANC has argued that because Madikizela-Mandela never actually went to jail the constitutional provision does not disqualify her from returning to Parliament after the April 22 elections.

The provisional election list is published to give the public an opportunity to lodge objections to candidates' nomination with the IEC.

Objections have to reach the electoral commission by fax or email by Wednesday. - Sapa

Published on the Web by IOL on 2009-03-16 16:49:44

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