ANC embroiled in battle against Zuma's MK Party over name and logo following unsuccessful bid to declare it unlawful

Embroiled ANC rolls up sleeves to fight Zuma's MK Party over name and logo after losing bid to declare it unlawful. File picture: Sizwe Ndingane

Embroiled ANC rolls up sleeves to fight Zuma's MK Party over name and logo after losing bid to declare it unlawful. File picture: Sizwe Ndingane

Published Mar 26, 2024


Despite the African National Congress (ANC) welcoming the court's ruling to declare the former President Jacob Zuma's Umkhonto weSizwe (MK) Party lawful and constitutional, it prepares to engage in legal battles with MKP over the name and logo.

In a statement issued as a substitute for the now-cancelled briefing on the court outcomes, the ANC expressed objection to the use of the Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) logo and name by this party, stating that it would address the matter in another court case.

This comes as both parties are preparing to go head-to-head at the Durban High Court on Wednesday, this time on the issue of the MK trademark.

The ANC said MK was their pride and joy and it would not allow counter-revolutionary to hijack it.

"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," it said in a statement.

This comes after the ruling party failed in court to have Zuma's MKP deregistered with the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC).

On Tuesday, delivering a judgment, the High Court in Johannesburg said the ANC had no basis and the application was dismissed.

Judge Lebogang Modiba said there was nothing unlawful about the MKP's registration, adding that the ANC had failed on two occasions to challenge the registration since the party was founded.

This means that the MKP can campaign across the country without limitation and having to look over their shoulders.

MKP was registered with the IEC as a political party on September 7, 2023, by Jabulani Khumalo. Initially rejected, the party was later invited by the IEC to submit a new application, which it did, ultimately resulting in approval.

However, the ANC blamed the IEC for failing to advertise the new application.

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

It further blamed the IEC’s Acting CEO, who considered the MKP's second application, did so without following the spirit and the letter of the Electoral Act.

The ANC claimed that the case was not against the MKP but essentially with the IEC.

"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," it said.

Responding to the judgment, the ANC maintained that it upheld the principles of justice and legality.

"We are not opposed to the party's presence on the ballot, provided the registration process conducted by the IEC was by the law," it said.

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