Today ActionSA has lodged its appeal with the IEC, challenging the decision of the Chief Electoral Officer to reject the registration of our party.
According to the Electoral Commissions Act, the appeal against the decision of the Chief Electoral Officer will now be heard by the Commissioners of the IEC.
The ActionSA legal team has produced a compelling submission which we are confident will convince the Commissioners of the IEC that the decision taken to reject our application was incorrect.
Our appeal focusses on the fact that alleged similarities between ActionSA and this other party in question are patently insufficient to meet the prescribed legal threshold of confusing voters. This included a professional marketing analysis of the logos from one of South Africa’s leading advertising agencies.
Of particular interest to the appeal was the discovery that the party ActionSA is alleged to be similar to, has not met the requirements of renewing their registration and that it, like so many political parties, should have been deregistered after not contesting the 2019 General Elections. Along with this, is the contention that a political party that does not contest elections, does not have voters who can be confused in any case.
South Africa has over 600 political parties of various registration statuses, precisely because legislative requirements to de-register political parties, that are not represented and do not contest elections, are not being implemented.
The use of the Heraldry Act in the rejection by the IEC also features as an important feature of the appeal. Our submission is clear that our logo does not breach the provisions of the legislation. In any event our appeal argues that this piece of legislation has become abrogated through disuse, with not a single case in South Africa being heard around this matter since its adoption in 1962.
The submission of this appeal is of great importance. It relates to how the IEC, as the essential Chapter 9 Institution entrusted to safeguard our electoral democracy, exercises its powers in our political system. The IEC has registered many political parties with significant similarities, like the ANC and AIC, and parties whose logos draw heavily on the South African flag. The IEC’s decision making in this matter should be of great concern, given the need for rational and consistent decision making to protect our democracy.
I have full confidence that the Commissioners of the IEC will see reason in their consideration of the appeal, and will move to register ActionSA as a political party.
Our work of growing ActionSA into the four corners of our country has not slowed since the IEC’s rejection of our appeal. The Act as One National Tour has seen the party on the ground, meeting communities and swelling our ranks in our commitment to the South African people to present the first real alternative to the ANC.