IEC rejects registration of Mashaba's party

Herman Mashaba
Image: Simphiwe Nkwali

Herman Mashaba's run for political office has hit a snag after the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) yesterday rejected the registration of his political party ActionSA.

It appears the IEC believes that Mashaba’s political party was too similar to another party, Party of Action, that is already on its database.

Another reason  has to do with the use of the South African flag on its logo.

In a statement making the announcement, Mashaba said they would be appealing the decision as they believe the IEC incorrectly applied the law.

“We regard the IEC to have acted irrationally in their decision. We submit that our identifying features remain sufficiently different from the Party of Action (POA), a political party that has never contested elections before despite registering,” Mashaba said.

He said they had also learnt that POA changed its name a day after they launched their political party.

“As a matter of fact, POA changed their name on social media platforms the day after the launch of ActionSA to Party of Action SA – seemingly to make their case for similarity,” Mashaba said.

Mashaba also cited that African Independent Congress (AIC) was allowed to register even though it had striking similarities to the ANC.

“It is a fact that there are over 630 political parties in South Africa, of various registration statuses. The notion that similarities exist is a natural consequence of this situation, but cannot be seen to rise to the required level of "voters not being able to notice the distinction…  The IEC’s decision in this matter is regrettable and inconsistent,” Mashaba said.

The party has instructed its legal team to file an appeal and may even approach the courts.

“Our logo is derived from The People’s Dialogue, a process in which millions of South Africans legitimised the formation of ActionSA.

“We have filed a trademark application with the Registrar of Trademarks and we will defend the identity of ActionSA without hesitation,” Mashaba said.

The IEC had not responded to questions but is expected to officially make the announcement on ActionSA soon.

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