ActionSA welcomes the IEC’s retraction of their previous stipulation that the features of the South African flag in the Action SA logo were grounds for their rejection of our application to register as a political party.
In an interview on SABC today, Deputy CEO Masego Sheburi, stated that
“reference to the Heraldry Act was just to assist the political party, it is not the basis on which we rejected the application.”
This statement was made in spite of the letter from the IEC which specifically listed the Heraldry Act is one of three grounds for the rejection of the application. The following is an excerpt of the letter:
“Please take note that the application for the registration of ACTIONSA as a political party has been rejected. The rejection is based on the following:
3. Furthermore, the proposed distinguishing mark or symbol of ACTIONSA contains the national flag as part of its emblem. Given that the national flag has been registered under the Heraldry Act 18 of 1962, no organisation, institution or concern, including a political party, may use the flag or a portion of the flag to form part of its emblem.”
We are pleased that the IEC has conceded that they do not have any legal standing to reject an application of a political party on these grounds.
The contradiction between the IEC’s letter and their statement during their interview will be taken up by our legal teams handling our appeal so that we can receive written confirmation of the reversal of their position on this particular element of the matter.
The change in the IEC’s position does serve to demonstrate that the IEC did not apply their mind sufficiently to our application and this will be taken up in our appeal.
It is imperative that the IEC, in exercising their responsibilities, do not limit the constitutionally protected right to participate in the electoral process through inconsistent and arbitrary decision-making processes.
At every occasion we have stressed that there are many good people in the IEC and we have not sought to prescribe any sinister motive behind the rejection of our application. We seek, through our appeal, to point out the legal shortcomings of the IEC’s approach and continue to build productive, professional relationships with this critical Chapter 9 Institution.