Newly-launched political party ActionSA has filed its appeal at the IEC following the commission’s decision to reject the party’s registration citing concerns over its logo.
The leader of ActionSA, Herman Mashaba, joined party members and lawyers on Tuesday to file an appeal at the IEC.
The party was launched in August, months after Mashaba left the DA and his position as the mayor of Joburg. The IEC informed the party that its application for registration had been rejected because of concerns that it violated part of the Electoral Act – which allows the Electoral Commissioner to reject a party’s application if its logo may confuse voters due to similarities with another political party.
The commission was concerned that ActionSA’s logo appeared similar to that of an existing party – Party of Action (POA) which also depicts an image of the South African flag.
Meanwhile, POA had also objected to ActionSA’s registration over the similarities. The IEC had also cited research which was conducted in 2018 which showed that voters use party logos to distinguish between political parties.
ActionSA was given the option to amend its logo or file an appeal with the commission.
The party chose the latter with Mashaba insisting that the IEC’s rejection was baseless. The party argues that the IEC had accepted registrations from similar political party logos in the past – citing the ANC and the AIC as an example of a double standard in the application of the rules.
Another basis for the appeal focused on there being no basis of assuming that voters will be confused by the alleged similarities between ActionSA and POA.
Mashaba said “Our appeal focuses 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”.
ActionSA also insists that POA has yet to meet the requirements for re-registration.
The appeal will now be heard by IEC commissioners who will assess the appeal and make a ruling.