Registration of MK Party noted - ANC

Party strongly objects to the use of our Umkhonto we Sizwe logo and name by party

ANC notes decision by Electoral Court

26 March 2024

The African National Congress (ANC) notes the decision by the Electoral Court today (26 March 2024) on the registration of the MK Party (MKP).

The ANC reiterates our support for the rule of law and the integrity of our legal institutions and the legal principle of equality before the law. We accept the judgement and will fully comply with it.

Over the course of this matter, there has been much speculation, misinformation and baseless theories about the ANC's position and role. We welcome this opportunity to set out the reasons for the ANC's case:

Sometime last year, the MKP launched an application to be registered as a political party that is fit and proper to contest election.

As per the requirements of the Electoral Act, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) published the MKP application and invited the public to submit objections, if there were any. Thereafter, for a variety of valid legal reasons, the application was rejected by the IEC.

On 4 August 2023, the IEC dispatched a letter to MKP with which to notify MKP that the application was rejected and to outline the valid legal reasons for the rejection.

In rejecting the application, the IEC invited the MKP to file a new application, if they so desired. The MKP thereafter launched a new application.

However, contrary to the requirements of the Electoral Act, the IEC failed to advertise the new application, and proceeded instead to consider the new application.

The IEC then, based on the new application, approved the application, and favoured the MKP with registration.

As a direct consequence of not advertising the new application as required by law, few members of the public, including members of the ANC, new about the application.

Once the ANC became aware of the unlawfulness of the registration process that the IEC followed, the ANC approached the Electoral Court to challenge the process that the IEC followed when it registered MKP.

The ANC arguments were cogent and straightforward.

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 MKP second application, did so without following the spirit and the letter of the Electoral Act.

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 MKP.

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 MKP was invited to participate fully in the proceeding as an interested party whose "IEC registration" could be negatively affected by the probable outcome.

Therefore, the case is not one directly between the ANC and the MKP, as some have characterised it.

The issues that the ANC raised in court were also plain:

- was the Electoral Court the proper court to consider the application brought before it by the ANC; and

- whether the court should issue a temporary injunction that would prevent the IEC to deal with the MKP as bona fide registered political party.

- and to convene a full hearing on the merits to determine whether the MKP was properly registered by the IEC.

The ANC upholds the principles of justice and legality.

We are not opposed the party's presence on the ballot, provided the registration process conducted by the IEC was in accordance with the law.

The ANC strongly objects to the use of our Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) logo and name by this party, and we will be addressing this issue in the High Court in Durban, KwaZuIu-NataI tomorrow, 27th March 2024. 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.

Issued by Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri, National Spokesperosn, ANC, 26 March 2024