Johannesburg - Al Qa-Ida wanted to get elected in South Africa, but its members just couldn’t get their act together.

Even if the group had managed to set up, it would face having its assets frozen in terms of global sanctions against terrorism.

Early last month, a group calling itself Al Qa-Ida started the official legal process for registering a political party with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).

A key part of this process is advertising the application in the Government Gazette.

The wannabe party advertised a formal notice of application on March 7.

“Notice is hereby given that the Al Qa-Ida is applying for registration in terms of the Electoral Commission Act, 1996,” said the notice.

“Date on which the application will be or has been submitted to the Chief Electoral Officer: 26 February 2014.”

The party’s planned symbol was a dagger crossing a moon and star. There was a two-week period for objections.

But Al Qa-Ida got no further.

They managed to e-mail their advert to the Government Gazette, but apparently failed to send anything to the electoral authorities.

“The Electoral Commission has to date not received an application,” IEC spokeswoman Kate Bapela said last week.

No application means no party registration. Even if an application is sent in now, it’s too late for the May vote as the deadline for parties to submit candidate lists and election deposits was March 25.

Placing the advert is one of the legally required steps a party must go through to register.

The wannabe party must provide the IEC with a copy of that advert, along with an application, a name, a copy of its constitution, a deed of foundation signed by 500 registered voters who support it, copies of the party logos and R500.

Only the hyphen distinguishes Al Qa-Ida from the internationally notorious al-Qaeda, and it’s not much of a distinction given the variety of spellings for that entity.

For years, al-Qaeda has been on the UN’s list of terrorist groups. South Africa signs off on those lists through its Protection of Constitutional Democracy Against Terrorist and Related Activities Act of 2004.

The UN’s Al-Qaeda and Taliban sanctions’ regime began in 1999.

In October 2001, the organisation known as Al Qa’ida/Islamic Army was listed.

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