‘Our arguments were cogent and straightforward’ — ANC 'accepts' outcomes of its case against IEC, MK Party

An MK Party golf shirt featuring camo print and the image of former president Jacob Zuma. The party has registered to contest the general elections in May. File photo.
An MK Party golf shirt featuring camo print and the image of former president Jacob Zuma. The party has registered to contest the general elections in May. File photo.
Image: Supplied

The ANC says it accepts the ruling of the Electoral Court dismissing its case seeking deregistration of the MK Party.

It, however, reiterated that it stood by the case it brought before the court questioning how the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) “flouted the law” when it registered the MK Party led by former president Jacob Zuma.

The ANC also sought to clarify that its case at the Electoral Court was not against the MK Party but the IEC.

“To avoid any misunderstanding, and contrary to what many people have claimed, the case brought by the ANC to the Electoral Court is not a case against the MK Party,” the ANC said. 

“The ANC accepts that all South Africans have rights to certain fundamental freedoms, among which is the right to join or establish a political party of one’s choice. This is a fundamental freedom for which we fought. The case we are dealing with is essentially between the ANC and the IEC.”

The ANC said it was not opposed to the MK Party’s presence on the ballot if its registration was in accordance with the law.

What it opposed was the use of the uMkhonto weSizwe logo and name by the MK Party, a case due to be heard at the High Court in Durban on Wednesday.

“The MK logo and name is the heritage and intellectual property of the ANC. We will not allow counter-revolutionaries to hijack our movement for their personal gain,” the party said.

The ANC was reacting to the judgment delivered by the Electoral Court on Tuesday dismissing its case against the IEC and the MK Party.

The court found the ANC’s contention that the IEC broke the law by allowing the MK Party to supplement its already rejected application “holds no water”.

There is no law suggesting the IEC is prohibited from allowing political parties to supplement applications even if they were initially rejected, it said.

The court found other parties had previously supplemented their applications.

It dismissed the ANC’s contention that the rejection of the application meant the MK Party had to start the process afresh.

The court ruled its reading of the Electoral Act was that as long as there was an application before the commission's CEO he should register the political party.

“The ANC contention that because the section makes no reference to supplementation, an application cannot be supplemented holds no water,” the court said.

“It is an artificial approach. It implies that contrary to the substantive approach to the consideration for an application for registration as implies from the reasons from which the CEO may decline to register a political party which are set out in section 16(1), the CEO should refuse to register a political party for elementary administrative details which the act and the regulation did not deem necessary to prescribe.”

Despite the court order, the ANC said it believed its arguments were “cogent and straightforward”.

It is not clear whether the acceptance of the judgment means the ANC will not appeal.

The ANC said: “The law requires that applications for registration of political parties must be publicly advertised for all to know, and to invite objections to the application, if any exist. Clearly, the IEC’s acting CEO, who considered the MK Party's second application, did so without following the spirit and the letter of the Electoral Act.”



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