Image via: flickr
Action SA was recently denied approval to be registered as a political party due to similarities in logo to that of another party.
Image via: flickr
The Electoral Commission has written to Action SA informing the party that its application to be registered as a political party has been rejected. Leader of the party Herman Mashaba, however, says the decision will be challenged.
The IEC has since given Mashaba and Action SA two options on the way forward.
Action SA was informed in writing of the failure of its application to be deemed a political party. The reason, according to the IEC was based on the similarity of its symbol or distinguishing mark to that of another party already registered as well as the fact that the logo included the South African national flag.
An existing party, Party of Action (POA), objected to the application of Action SA on the basis that the proposed logo was “too similar” to its own.
“Section 16(1)(b) of the Electoral Commission Act (51 of 1996) provides that the Chief Electoral Officer may not register a party if its distinguishing mark or symbol resembles that of another registered party to such an extent that it may deceive or confuse voters,” the IEC said in a statement.
“Given that the national flag has been registered under the Heraldry Act 18 or 1962, no organisation, institution or concern, including a political party, may use the flag or portion of the flag to form part of its emblem,” the Electoral Commission said.
The letter informed Action SA that it has two options in response:
Action SA, in a statement, said it has already written to the IEC, initiating its right to appeal their decision as a result of its incorrect applications of 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. As a matter of fact, POA changed their name on social media platforms the day after the launch of Action SA to Party of Action SA – seemingly to make their case for similarity,” it said.
Action SA has instructed its legal teams to file an appeal and, if necessary, proceed to court in order to defend its legitimate registration. It has also filed a trademark application with the Registrar of Trademarks and we will defend the identity of Action SA without hesitation.
“We are disappointed by the position of the IEC and trust that it will come around to make the correct decision in the appeal process without this matter having to proceed to court,” it added.