'Politics should be about honour, no wonder people don't trust Mashaba' — Mzwanele Manyi gets in a jibe
Action SA president and former Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba did not take kindly to Mzwanele Manyi calling him a “liar” in response to the Electoral Commission's (IEC) decision not to register Action SA as a political party.
Mashaba registered his party this month after its official launch in August, but told TimesLIVE on Tuesday that the IEC had rejected his application for registration.
Manyi, the African Transformation Movement (ATM) founder, on Monday said Mashaba lied when he told his supporters he had registered with the commission.
“This is exactly why people don't trust politicians. Why would Mashaba lie like this? Politics should be about honour, not manipulating people. I feel sorry for those who trust him,” Manyi wrote on Twitter.
Mashaba's supporters requested clarity from the Action SA president. Some defended him by asking if Manyi was sent by the controversial Gupta brothers to “attack” him.
It didn't take long for Mashaba to respond to Manyi, who has previously been linked to business dealings with the corruption-accused family.
Mashaba said the application outcome was influenced by the perceived similarities with a registered political party, Party of Action (POA), and the use of the national flag in its logo. He said the party has written to the IEC to appeal its decision.
“We regard the IEC to have acted irrationally in their decision. We submit that our identifying features remain sufficiently different from the Party of Action, a political party that has never contested elections, despite registering,” Mashaba said.
He said similarities between political parties are inevitable.
“It is a fact that there are more than 630 political parties in SA of various registration statuses. The notion that similarities exist is a natural consequence of this situation, but cannot be seen to rise to the required level of 'voters not being able to notice the distinction'. The IEC’s decision in this matter is regrettable and inconsistent,” said Mashaba.
In a statement, Mashaba said Action SA's logo was derived from The People's Dialogue, a platform he founded after leaving the DA in October last year.
He said the party will register its identity with the Registrar of Trademarks to ensure its protection.