DA court case for more voting stations overseas set for hearing at Electoral Court on 25 March 2024

Issued by Helen Zille – Chairperson of the DA Federal Council
19 Mar 2024 in News

The Democratic Alliance (DA) court case to request more voting stations overseas in 2024 is set to be heard at the Electoral Court on Monday 25 March 2024.

This follows a submission by the DA on 15 February to the Electoral Court to request the inclusion of all Embassies, High Commissions and Consulates as voting stations for the 2024 elections.

This action comes in response to complaints from South Africans residing in Perth, who sought the opening of the Honorary Consulate as a voting facility. The High Commission in Canberra responded to these concerns, stating that the Perth Consulate could not be utilised for voting as it is “not headed by transferred staff from South Africa.”

This contradicts the current Electoral Act, which allows South Africans abroad to cast their votes at any Embassy, High Commission, or Consulate.

The DA considers this position by the High Commission in Canberra to be both unlawful and irrational. The party argues that the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and the Department of International Relations and Co-operation (DIRCO) should not differentiate between consulates headed by “transferred staff” and those led by honorary consuls.

With a significant South African population of 200 000 in Australia alone and over 1 million believed to be residing, working, studying, or traveling globally, the IEC and DIRCO must ensure ample opportunities for these citizens to exercise their constitutional right to vote in the upcoming elections.