ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba. Picture: @Action4SA/Twitter
ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba. Picture: @Action4SA/Twitter

Herman Mashaba’s ActionSA loses ballot paper battle with IEC ahead of local government elections

By Baldwin Ndaba Time of article published Oct 22, 2021

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Johannesburg - ActionSA has lost its battle to force the Electoral Commission (IEC) to include its full name in the ballot paper ahead of the November 1 local government elections.

On Thursday, the party applied to the Electoral Court sitting in Joburg to force the IEC to include its full name in the ballot paper, arguing that the electoral body’s registration papers did not indicate that parties must include their abbreviated names when contesting for elections.

ActionSA lodged the application after its full name was omitted in the draft ballot paper produced by the IEC on October 2. In support of its decision, the IEC argued that ActionSA failed to provide it with the abbreviation of its party’s name – a view which irked the top leadership of ActionSA.

The Electoral Court, however, ruled against ActionSA and ordered them to contest the upcoming local government elections, using the same disputed ballot paper. The Court is also expected to give their full reasons at a later stage.

Reacting to the ruling, ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba said his party had received “the disappointing news'’ that the Electoral Court had against it.

“While we are disappointed by the outcome, ActionSA is dedicated to the rule of law and we respect the outcome of the court and the experience of the jurists who presided over our matter.

“While our focus has been unfalteringly on the campaign, our attention now turns to the extraordinary measures we will implement to ensure that voters are able to locate ActionSA on the ballot papers,” Mashaba said.

He said they expressed their deepest appreciation to the countless number of South Africans who have rallied behind them in their battle with the IEC.

Meanwhile, the IEC was elated with the outcome and spokesperson Kate Bapela said the electoral body welcomed the decision of the Electoral Court, saying it paved the way for the orderly conduct of elections in the affected wards.

“The commission reiterates that it did not exclude ActionSA from the ward ballots. Rather, ActionSA did not register an abbreviated name. Abbreviated names or acronyms are used instead of full names because the ward candidate full names are used.

“The approach to ballot design has been part of electoral management practice with the advent of the new system of local government in 2000,” Bapela said.

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Political Bureau

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