‘New EFF’ accuses IEC of ‘delaying’ its campaign

2015-02-11 14:04
(File, AFP)

(File, AFP)

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Johannesburg - The leader of the ‘New EFF’ has accused the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) of purposely rejecting the party’s registration in order to delay its campaign for the 2016 elections.

The New Economic Freedom Front (New EFF) was founded in October by Pastor Wonder Sentilmile, who abandoned his position as a regional co-ordinator for the EFF after claiming the party was full of “liars and hypocrites who stole the votes of the poor masses”.

However, last week the IEC wrote to Sentimile rejecting the registration of his party’s name on the basis that it was too similar to others.

Sentimile, from Phuthaditjhaba in the Free State, told News24 that he thought the rejection was a “strategy to delay us from campaigning for the 2016 elections (in) the hope that we will do nothing and become just dysfunctional”.

He said he would challenge the decision, arguing that there have not been any objections from other political parties - and that the IEC's decision was "very strange, unbecoming, irresponsible and immature".

‘Unnecessary argument’

In a letter addressed to Sentimile and seen by News24, the IEC’s Brian Heuvel, manager of voter registration and party liaison, wrote last week that the name ‘New EFF’ was “rejected due to the fact that the proposed party name and abbreviation is similar to that of an existing registered party i.e. Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF)”.

He added: “It potentially also clashes with the Freedom Front Plus; this will be confusing to voters.”

Sentimile however accused the IEC of starting an “unnecessary argument”, claiming that voters will not find the three names confusing.

Though the IEC was unavailable for comment, Heuvel’s letter states that the rejection “does not debar you from submitting a fresh application”.

‘Badly treated’ by Malema

Meanwhile, the EFF has previously refused to comment on Sentimile’s creation of a new party, or comment on the charges the pastor has laid at their door.

Sentimile, 38, previously told News24 that the EFF changed immediately after the election, with the upper ranks following personal agendas and lapping up parliamentary perks. He also claimed that the party was riddled with “unjust practices”.  

Sentimile abandoned the EFF after his attempts to challenge the party’s direction were met with a suspension notice from the party.

On Monday, the EFF’s former Gauteng leader Lufuno Gogoro told The New Age that Sentimile “was badly treated by EFF Julius Malema”.  

Gogoro added: “We have a common enemy which is Julius”.

Read more on:    eff  |  julius malema  |  politics

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