Four parties fall at first ele

Read more TSA coverage about the elections that could change everything

Four parties fall at first election hurdle but one fights back

Four political parties were taken off the ballot paper for May’s elections last week as they failed to pay their deposits, but the Africa Unite Party is not taking ‘no’ for an answer.

Four parties fall at first ele

Read more TSA coverage about the elections that could change everything

Four parties have been taken out of the South African election race after they failed to pay their deposits by the deadline on Tuesday night.

There are now only 29 parties in the running after the Africa Unite Party, Dagga Party, Lekgotla for Democracy Advancement and SA Progressive Civil Organisation were removed from the ballot paper.

Kate Bapela, spokeswoman for the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC), said: “This is four fewer than the 33 parties that had provisionally indicated their intention to contest the national election… but it remains the highest number of parties to contest a democratic national election in South Africa’s history.”

Last week, 31 parties were issued with notices indicating that they had not yet submitted candidate lists or paid the R200,000 deposit in regard to about 300 candidates, and all but four then met the requirements.

Africa Unite Party

However, the Africa Unite Party, a “people’s party” who were founded on March 7 by Robin Denton, are fighting back.

Denton said: “We are hoping to contest this election but the odds are slim as we did not manage to come up with the high deposit.”

However, writing on the community section of, Denton said: “I want to set the record straight. We had the money for the deposit. We even offered it to the IEC. We are still contesting in these elections as a political party and we are fighting back with all guns blazing. But to pay a deposit to serve the people… this is morally wrong and certainly is not a criteria for proving seriousness.”

However, Bapela defended the purpose of the deposit.

“In the interest of democratic elections it is not desirable to have a multi-page ballot paper that not only hampers election processes and make them much more expensive but, and this is more serious, also confuses voters by making it extremely difficult (if not impossible) for many of them to identify the party they had come to vote for,” she said.

Denton confirmed that he has been to the constitutional court and submitted the party’s case to be heard. He also urged all South Africans abroad to vote.

The party’s manifesto says: “Despite being small it has a large vision. The primary focus for this election is the farm attacks and racially motivated violence, economic empowerment for all and prison reform.”

Other disillusioned parties

Another party, the Dagga Party, has high hopes for the future.

“Dagga legalisation is like a dagga bush — it keeps growing,” party leader Jeremy Acton said. His party had a sponsor in the Canadian medical marijuana field but they still could not meet the whole cost.

Lekgotla for Democracy Advancement is still in the race in Limpopo and Gauteng provinces despite being disqualified from contesting nationally.

The Economic Freedom Fighters went through a failed court bid to reduce the deposit price, but did make the payment on time.

A candidate list is now available for public inspection at