IEC submits response to ConCourt regarding Janet Love’s statements

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The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has submitted written responses to the Constitutional Court concerning statements made by Commissioner Janet Love.

The apex court had directed parties involved in the matter to file submissions by 5 p.m. yesterday regarding Love’s remarks.

Key questions posed to the parties included whether Love should have refrained from expressing an opinion on Zuma’s eligibility, whether she should have recused herself from participating in the IEC’s decision regarding the former president’s eligibility, and what impact her involvement would have on the determination of Zuma’s eligibility.

Love had stated during a press briefing, “That excludes anybody who has been given a sentence that was not the subject of any deferral and in that sense, it is not ourselves, but the laws of the country that would stand as an impediment for that candidacy.”

The IEC responded “no” to all but one of the questions raised.

The commission clarified that Love’s statement in January was not specific to Zuma’s eligibility, but applied to any candidate.

It argued that Love merely outlined the objective application of the law to eligibility, suggesting she did not prejudge Zuma’s eligibility for public office.

Additionally, the IEC contended that Love made the statements before the uMkhonto weSizwe Party (MK Party) submitted its candidates list, making it unreasonable to anticipate objections to Zuma’s eligibility.

On Friday, the Constitutional Court heard submissions on the IEC’s appeal against the Electoral Court order that invalidated the IEC’s March decision to disqualify Zuma under Section 47(1)(E) of the Constitution.

The Constitutional Court’s responsibility is to provide a definitive interpretation of the section and determine Zuma’s eligibility before the May elections commence.

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