- The IEC has upheld its decision to reject ActionSA's application to register as a political party.
- POA objected to the application of ActionSA, on the basis that the proposed logo was too similar to theirs.
- ActionSA's Herman Mashaba says his party has an excellent chance of successfully reviewing the IEC's decision.
Herman Mashaba's ActionSA has encountered yet another hurdle after a decision to reject their application to register as a political party was upheld by the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC).
"Having duly considered the appeal lodged by ActionSA, as well as the grounds for the rejection of the party's application by the CEO, the commission upheld the CEO's decision on the basis that the symbol of the party resembles that of another registered party to such an extent that it may deceive or confuse voters," the IEC said in a statement on Friday.
The commission upheld one aspect of the appeal by ActionSA, namely that the use of the South African flag in the logo was in contravention of the Heraldry Act of 1962.
"Section 16 requires that the IEC take into account the fact that the party, which is associated with the name, abbreviated name, distinguishing mark or symbol (as the case may be) for the longest period, should prima facie be entitled thereto," the IEC said.
An existing party, Party of Action (POA), had objected to the application of ActionSA on the basis that the proposed logo was too similar to its own.
"In terms of the law, ActionSA may submit a new application for registration, with a revised symbol or logo, which does not bear resemblance to any other registered party. Alternatively, if the party is still aggrieved by the decision of the commission, it may approach the Electoral Court," the IEC added.
In a statement, Mashaba said he is shocked by the IEC's decision, and the basis upon which they have rationalised it.
"We remain deeply concerned that a Chapter 9 Institution, charged with safeguarding our electoral democracy, can make important legal decisions in this manner.
"The concession by the commission to overturn the decision of the chief electoral officer included the remarkable concession that the commission has no evidence to suggest that the South African flag is even protected under the Heraldry Act of 1962.
"This is a demonstration of the flawed decision-making process followed by the IEC, which raises the question of how they can correctly analyse a subjective issue of similarities when they did not correctly assert the objective matter of the law," he said.
Mashaba said ActionSA stands an excellent chance of successfully reviewing the IEC's decision in the court on an urgent basis - "however, ActionSA must now weigh the merits of its options".
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