Following the IEC’s decision to uphold their original decision to reject ActionSA’s application to register as a political party, the ActionSA Senate initiated a public engagement process.
Notwithstanding the opinion that we have excellent prospects of a successful review in the High Court, the ActionSA Senate called for the engagement process to ensure our actions are guided by the party’s supporters.
The purpose of this engagement was to determine whether ActionSA supporters believe we should challenge the IEC in the High Court or amend our logo and finalise our registration.
ActionSA supporters have spoken through this process, and despite the high confidence in a high court review succeeding, 92% of more than 9000 official views have guided the organisation to change the logo and proceed.
ActionSA has listened to this feedback, and resolved to initiate the redesign of our logo.
We are fundamentally aware that South Africans are suffering, they need a political party that is delivering an alternative. Nothing could demonstrate this more than the by-elections that took place last week, where 65% of voters chose rather to not vote than vote for any of the parties on offer.
South Africa is in a precarious position of a government which is taking South Africa in the wrong direction, and opposition political parties that have given up on the project of winning elections. This is why South Africans have asked us to walk away from a protracted legal battle, however successful the odds, because the urgency behind the ActionSA alternative is palpable in communities across South Africa.
We do not want to be a political party that is out of touch with the people of our country, there are enough of these parties. South Africans would rather see our resources used to go to court for private prosecutions of those who have unashamedly stolen public monies rather than to safeguard a logo.
In resolving to step away from a legal remedy, ActionSA nonetheless notes a number of serious shortcomings in the IEC decision to reject our appeal. This includes errors of fact and law which would have become the basis for a High Court Review.
By way of example, the IEC compared different logos in considering the appeal than were considered in the original application. The IEC admit that they now are applying a different standard to the past, presumably for ActionSA, and rely on a study which specifically states that it should not be generalised because it is not statistically representative. The IEC, amusingly, even relied upon the idea of possible confusion during power failures.
Relevant to the process of ActionSA’s redevelopment of our logo is that there are over 600 political parties of various states of registration in South Africa. This situation has arisen because the IEC has not de-registered political parties, as it is empowered to, when they do not contest general elections or gain representation in municipal councils, provincial legislatures or the national assembly. POA, the party ActionSA was deemed similar to, is one such party.
It will therefore remain to be seen how ActionSA’s new logo will avoid perceived similarity, under the IEC’s seemingly broad interpretation of the word, to any of the other 600 political parties.
ActionSA will now move swiftly to amend its logo and re-initiate its registration process so that we can focus on what South Africans need, an alternative government presenting solutions to the challenges that confront our people on a daily basis.