Electoral Court hears ActionSA’s application against IEC

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The Electoral Court is hearing ActionSA’s application lodged against the Independent Electoral Commission’s (IEC) decision to not publish its name on the 2021 Election Local Government Elections ballot paper.

The party has complained that the ballot paper only has the party’s logo, with a blank space where its name should be.

After unsuccessfully trying to get the Electoral Commission to remedy the situation, the party has approached the court arguing that the IEC has no legal basis for the commission to refuse.

For its part, the IEC says the absence of the abbreviated name of ActionSA on the ward ballots is because, at the time of registering as a party, ActionSA elected not to register an abbreviated name or acronym.

‘Important identifier’

ActionSA says that it will be unfairly affected should the local government elections proceed without its name on the ward ballots.

Lawyer for the party Adila Hassim says that the name of a party on the ballot paper is recognised as an important identifier for any party.

The IEC has not put the name of ActionSA on the ward ballots as it did not register an abbreviated name when it registered with the IEC last year. Hassim says the IEC’s decision does not serve the commission’s mandate of holding a free and fair election.

“The prejudice to ActionSA is that it will not be participating on a level playing field. ActionSA was only registered on the 7th of December 2020, it does not have brand recognition it also impedes the right of voters, therefore, to exercise their choice when voting. This is because voters will not be able to discern where and whether ActionSA is located on the paper where it’s only its logo is used it must be borne in mind it is a new political party and it could be perceived by some voters of the absence of ActionSA altogether on the ballot.”

In the video below, Action SA leader Herman Mashaba claims that the IEC is sabotaging his party:

Earlier this month, Executive Chairman at Institute of Election Management Services in Africa, Terry Tselane said according to the electoral Act a political party must meet certain requirements to register: