Sameera Casmod | email@example.com
05 December 2023 | 10:51 a.m. CAT
In an interview on Radio Islam International, Xiluva political party leader Bongani Baloyi discussed the recent Constitutional Court judgment on the Electoral Amendment Act, acknowledging its significance despite certain limitations. The court upheld the constitutionality of the act with minor adjustments, marking a milestone in South Africa’s electoral framework.
The genesis of this legal development traces back to a landmark judge ruling that paved the way for the participation of independent candidates in national elections. Subsequently, Parliament underwent a process of amending the Electoral Act to accommodate this new paradigm, leading to the recent Constitutional Court inspection.
A key aspect of the ruling involved the Independent Candidate Association’s desire to contest more than the initially allotted 200 of the 400 regional seats in the National Assembly, advocating for an increase to 350. The court, however, deemed their arguments insufficient and maintained the status quo, emphasising the importance of proving a basis for expanding representation.
The interview also highlighted the challenges faced by independent candidates, particularly the limitation in benefiting from the number of votes received. Baloyi illustrated the contrast between an independent candidate and a political party, emphasising the need for strategic thinking in electoral choices.
The second noteworthy argument addressed the 15% threshold requirement for candidates in unrepresented parties, initially a barrier for many new parties. The court decision to reduce this threshold to 1 000 signatures opened the door for increased participation, introducing a diverse array of options on the ballot.
Baloyi discussed the positive implications of this judgment, celebrating its potential to deepen democracy and create opportunities for diverse political entities. The interview covered the issue of voter apathy, acknowledging legitimate concerns but urging citizens to participate actively in shaping the nation’s future.
In response to growing disinterest in the electoral process, Baloyi highlighted the array of options available to voters, including locally originated parties focusing on specific issues. The call for strategic voting and active civic engagement underscored the importance of citizens exercising their democratic rights.
Listen to the full interview on Sabaahul Muslim with Mufti Yusuf Moosagie.