The African Transformation Movement (ATM) "remains unshaken" amid a breakaway group's claim that the party was registered fraudulently.
Towards the end of last week, a breakaway group wrote to the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC), claiming that the ATM's leadership had established the party fraudulently, and therefore the party should not be registered with the IEC.
In a statement, ATM spokesperson Mandisa Mashiya said any attempts by the group to deregister the party "will be vigorously defended", and described the claims as "propaganda, a mere cloak and shame to discredit ATM".
The ATM was established last year by the South African Council of Messianic Churches in Christ (SACMCC) and was formally registered by the IEC. Initially, the party was named the African Transformation Congress (ATC), but after consultation with the IEC, the "Congress" was replaced with "Movement" to avoid confusion with other party names.
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"Since then, all people who were members of ATC automatically became members of ATM due to the cession of the usage of the ATC name as per IEC," Mashiya said in the statement.
"The utterance that ATM has fraudulently misrepresented itself as ATC is void of basis and nonsensical, it is therefore viewed as intended to defame and endanger the good name and reputation of ATM," Mashiya said.
High-profile members include former government spokesperson and former New Age media owner Mzwanele Manyi.