Mashaba confident courts will overturn IEC stumbling block to his party's registration
Herman Mashaba is considering approaching the high court after the Electoral Commission (IEC) upheld a decision to reject the registration of his political party ActionSA.
The IEC dealt Mashaba, the former DA Johannesburg mayor, a blow in September after it rejected the registration of his new party citing similarities with another party on its database. He appealed against the decision, which has now been rejected.
The IEC felt that similarities between Mashaba’s ActionSA and the Party of Action were likely to confuse voters. The use of the SA flag on the party logo was also viewed as problematic.
The party said it was still seeking legal advice on its next move.
“It is clear that ActionSA stands an excellent prospect of successfully reviewing the IEC’s decision by the high court on an urgent basis. However, ActionSA must now determine and weigh the merits of its options,” Mashaba said on Tuesday.
Mashaba has been hard at work garnering support ahead of next year’s local government elections which he plans to contest, gaining the support of several prominent figures from his former party, the DA, in the process.
Former DA Gauteng leader John Moodey recently jumped ship to join Mashaba. Other prominent figures that have since joined include former DA leader in Johannesburg Funzi Ngobeni, former chief of the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department David Tembe, and former ANC MPs Makhosi Khoza and Vytjie Mentor, among others.
Mashaba is not keen to go back to the drawing board to change the party’s logo. His view is that this process would be futile.
It could also become problematic for his members who have printed T-shirts, caps, banners and other party regalia.
“We are of the view that any effort to alter the logo would likely produce a similar problem precisely because there are over 600 political parties, a situation caused by the IEC’s failure to deregister parties, in accordance with its own regulations, that are not represented and do not contest general elections,” Mashaba said.
The party is expected to cause an upset in the upcoming local government elections after its feasibility process through The People’s Dialogue garnered 2.4 million submissions. This, he said, showed appetite for a new and different political party.
His party would focus on five values:
- a free-market economy driven by the private sector and not the government;
- social justice — pushing for a pro-poor agenda, creating a strong middle class and closing the gap between the rich and the poor;
- rule of law; and
- electoral reform, which will see people directly electing their leaders and public representatives.
However, this is now in the balance since the IEC decision not to allow him to register the party.