From ‘stealing logos’ to threats of court action: Mashaba’s battle to register ActionSA as a political party
After weeks of uncertainty over its logo and threats of legal action, Herman Mashaba's political party, ActionSA, has finally been given the green light to contest the 2021 elections.
The party announced the news on Sunday after it was officially registered by the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) under an amended logo.
Here is a timeline of its journey to become registered:
In August, Mashaba launched his new party during a virtual event. This followed his launch of The People's Dialogue, an NGO aimed at getting views of South Africans about the future.
He said the party aimed to eradicate corruption and put an end to illegal immigration.
“This party stands for an end to illegal immigration, and we will never be silenced by anyone. We are a country and, as such, we have borders. We are a country that has not met the expectations of its own citizens and, therefore, cannot try to meet the expectations of the citizens of other nations as well,” said Mashaba.
In September, a month after its launch, the party's application for registration to contest next year's local government elections was rejected by the IEC.
This after another party, Party of Action, slammed Mashaba for allegedly stealing its logo. Mashaba said Party of Action had changed its name on social media to Party of Action SA, a day after he launched his party.
“We are disappointed by the position of the IEC, and trust that it will come around to make the correct decision in the appeal process without this matter having to proceed to court,” he said.
Not taking the IEC's decision lightly, Mashaba said his party would appeal the rejection.
The appeal focused on the similarities between ActionSA and Party of Action.
Mashaba said the similarities between the two parties' logos and names were “patently insufficient to meet the prescribed legal threshold of confusing voters”.
He said his party's submission was clear that the logo did not breach the provisions of the legislation.
In November, the IEC rejected ActionSA's appeal and upheld its decision to reject the registration of the party as a political party on the basis that the logo and name were similar to Party of Action.
Taking to social media, Mashaba said his party would adhere to the IEC’s recommendations and change its logo.
“Thank you to every person that voted. Over 92% of you said that we should change the logo. We have heard you! We will now initiate the redesign of our logo,” Mashaba said.
“We will now move quickly to amend the logo and reinitiate our registration process so that we can focus on what South Africans need — an alternative government. We have heard you, and we are moving forward.”
New logo changed to green
On Sunday, Mashaba said the new logo remained consistent with the logo that was originally filed.
“This was important to ActionSA because its identity was the subject of a nine-month long public engagement process,” he said.
“It keeps the shapes of the South African flag infused with the direction arrow denoting the progress of the A for action. In real terms, the colours of the logo have simply changed to green.
“The registration of ActionSA is a significant milestone for our party, only a few months old, in its important work to offer the first real alternative that can unseat the ANC.”