Dagga Party waiting to exhale on whether it will be on ballot

Jeremy Acton, leader of the Dagga Party. (David Harrison/Gallo)

Jeremy Acton, leader of the Dagga Party. (David Harrison/Gallo)

The Dagga Party of South Africa’s high hopes to contest the 2019 elections could go up in smoke.

The pro-cannabis legalisation party says while it had the R200 000 deposit to contest the national ballot, online systems may have failed it.

“We had the money, and we had our candidates, and we approached the IEC [Electoral Commission of South Africa] online uploading portal. Our internet banking solution that we organised on Wednesday morning just didn’t make the payments.
We got one in before the deadline, and one in after the deadline,” said Jeremy Acton, leader of the party.

The party approached supporters and members of the cannabis community on the weekend to help support election efforts.

READ MORE: Dagga Party credits grassroots support to get on ballot

On late Tuesday, an unidentified supporter had taken out a loan to donate to the party, but would only receive the funds the next day.

On Wednesday, an optimistic Acton posted on the party’s Facebook page that they had the money to contest the national ballot but were still hoping for more donations to register for the Western Cape as well.

Speaking to the Mail & Guardian on Wednesday, Acton said the party was ready to be the voice of all marijuana users.

“We are making a little of history here. And for the first time cannabis users will get the chance to determine their own future,” Acton said.

But now that may all be a pipe dream.

Acton says all their paperwork is in order, but are unclear whether the IEC will accept it.

“We emailed our list of candidates to the IEC instead of the internet portal, and also our proof of payment. So we don’t know what the situation is at the moment, but I think technically we didn’t make it,” he said.

It wouldn’t be the first time the budding party failed to pass muster with the IEC.

In 2014, the party was excluded from the election ballot because it couldn’t come up with the green.

Acton says while their intention to contest the election is clear, they now have to wait for the IEC to let them know if they made the deadline or not.

“I don’t even know if there is an appeal process. So I just put it in the hands of the IEC to decide whether we’ve made it or not. I’m going to spend the next two weeks, which I had intended to do anyway to write the manifesto that we had hoped to present,” he said.

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