More voting points for SA’ers overseas

Henry

The DA won its case against the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) which will secure more polling stations abroad for this year’s election.

This comes after the Electoral Court confirmed that the IEC’s decision – to prohibit South Africans living overseas from voting at consulates under the management of honorary consuls – should be set aside.

RNews earlier reported that the DA submitted documents to the electoral court to use all embassies, high commissions and consulates as polling stations for the 2024 elections.

Helen Zille, chairman of the DA’s federal council, says this action follows in response to complaints from South Africans living in Perth, who requested the honorary consulate as a voting point.

“The High Commissioner in Canberra responded to these objections and requests and said that the Perth consulate could not be used for voting as it was ‘not run by transferred staff from South Africa’.

“This position is unlawful and irrational. The IEC and the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) should not differentiate between consulates led by ‘transferred staff’ and those led by honorary consuls,” says Zille.

The electoral court upheld this position and said in its judgment that the word “consulate” in art. 33 of the Electoral Act also includes a consulate headed by an honorary consul.

Zille says this is an enormous victory for the more than 40,000 South Africans who live in Perth, as well as other cities where a similar situation is experienced.

“The DA will monitor the IEC to ensure the practical implementation of this decision, as well as to confirm the number of additional polling stations and their location.”

South Africans living in Perth and other cities will still have an opportunity to transfer their current registration to the new polling stations until 22 April.