The top ten most obscure polit

The top ten most obscure political parties in South Africa

With less than a month to go until national and provincial elections we decided to have a look at the weird, the wacky and the wonderful possibilities of South Africa’s multiparty politics.

The top ten most obscure polit

Party party

THE following are presented in no particular order – especially not in any order of supposed relevance, as none of these political parties have ever made it into Parliament. But with your help…


1)  Front Nasionaal


There are some people who like to pretend that 1994 never happened and that the Nats are still in power. It is fair to say that the newly-formed Front Nasionaal Party and a few other such associated right-wing groups seem to appeal to these tannies and ooms. They all advocate Afrikaner self-determination and campaign for a referendum for those who identify as Afrikaners. While they do that we just see the ‘mental’ in ‘fundamental’.


2) Dagga Party


Well, this one is a bit obvious perhaps and doesn’t require much explaining – these fellows think that all our problems would melt away if only dagga were made legal. But whatever the party may be ‘potting’, they first have to ‘weed’ out their internal problems, as the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has threatened to reject the ‘party’ party on the ballot paper until it managed to get its registration fees together, but only at 4:20pm on closing day. Well, it’s not like we expected the Dagga Party to jump the ganja with sorting out their application any time sooner anyway.


3) K.I.S.S. Party


While K.I.S.S. can variably stand for “Keep It Straight and Simple”, “Keep It Simple, Stupid”, and “Keep It Sharp Sharp” by the party’s own admission, the tradition of the K.I.S.S. party (which manages to get a good few thousand votes each election) follows a libertarian school-of-thought, spearheaded by senior citizen Claire Emary, also known as Claire C. Gaiford. The party is reportedly based out of Heidelberg, Gauteng, and is not expected to improve on its performance.


4) Al Jama-ah


Al Jama-ah is an Islamic movement, which is in support of sharia law and other Islamic principles. Needless to say, there would be some predictable clashes with the South African constitution should the party’s plans ever come to fruition. However, Al Jama-ah is only running for the second time this year while trying to get its votes from Cape Town’s Muslim population, so there’s no need to panic. What we know at least is that Al Jama-ah is considered to be a rather a moderate organisation, especially compared to another Islamic movement in SA, Hizb-ut Tahrir, which – on account of its questionable views and activities – has been banned in many countries.


5) Equal Rights Party


A rainbow party for the rainbow nation – what else could be more appropriate? Despite gay marriage being legal in South Africa and discrimination against homosexuals being outlawed, SA still battles with many equal rights issues driven by homophobia, which the Equal Rights Party hopes to address. However, there doesn’t seem to be a clear strategy involved, as the party failed to register at national level. Maybe in 2019?



Ubuntu seems to be a fashionable term that is thrown around to create a certain “feel-good” notion about community. However, the Ubuntu Party wants to take things to another level – the party appeals to lift our consciousness into a new sphere and free ourselves from our limitations, not just politically but – first and foremost – spiritually. With community at the centre of the movement, the Ubuntu Party looks for members who can contribute whatever their talents and strengths may be to move everyone into a realm of liberation. In short, it’s less “Amandla” and more “Kumbaya”.


7) Patriotic Alliance


What is interesting about the Patriotic Alliance is not so much what the party tries to achieve (by its own admission it identifies and competes with the main South African opposition, the Democratic Alliance), but rather who leads the party. The top two positions are occupied by bank-robber turned motivational speaker Gayton McKenzie and Ponzi-scheme-fraudster turned businessman Kenny Kunene. Kunene, known as the “sushi king” (for his verypublic love of the Japanese delicacy) had flip-flopped between the ANC and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) before finding his political home with the Patriotic Alliance, and is hoping to seal a future in politics with the obscure party.


8) Africa Independent Congress


Our comrades over at the Africa Independent Congress split from the ANC over a spat defining the borders of the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces, but their little movement has become about much more than just gerrymandering provincial boundaries. The AIC has its own programme and seeks to define South Africa as a multi-party democracy, however, the party has recently tarnished its reputation as an opposition voice by campaigning to collect signatures to ban gay marriage.




Following the events at the Lonmin Marikana mines in 2012, the Workers and Socialist Party (WASP) was formed to use the muscle of collectivism to the favour of workers. The newly incorporated WASP calls for the nationalisation of all mines and other industries in South Africa under the tried-and-failed Marxist model. Membership numbers are vague, but it is alleged that the National Transport Union fully supports the new political party. After talks with Julius Malema’s EFF last year the two parties failed to merge, leaving the landscape of extreme left politics in South Africa fragmented.


10) Kingdom Governance Movement


The Kingdom Governance Movement calls for a “broad platform as a prophetic voice” so it can “advance the kingdom of God on the earth.” Started by former ANC member Mkhangeli Matomela, it reportedly takes direct inspiration from the Holy Spirit and is otherwise busy rejecting Satan until the Messiah is due back. It is rather exhausting trying to make sense of its 15-page manifesto, but they definitely get the prize for best Photoshop logo design.

By Sertan Sanderson, 2014