Durban – The ANC has encountered another bump on the road to Mangaung with news that a new party, possibly a breakaway by disgruntled ANC members, is about to be formed.
Report By The Mercury
However, more than anything else, it was the name, South African National Congress, which set social media networks alight with sarcasm, finger-pointing and disbelief.
Government Gazette 35761, published on Friday, October 12, stated: “Notice is hereby given that the South African National Congress is applying for registration in terms of the Electoral Commission Act, 1996 (Act No 51 of 1996).” It invited anyone with objections to submit them to the chief electoral officer within 14 days of the publication of the notice.
“We don’t know about it, but… we will challenge it,” ANC spokesman Keith Khoza said.
“We view it as a misappropriation of our name. It will cause confusion to our constituency. Remember, even Cope started there. One of the names they looked at when they started out was SANC,” said Khoza.
He was referring to ANC members who broke from the party in 2008 and settled on the name Congress of the People.
At its birth the ANC was known as the South African Native National Congress.
Despite two days of research it was still not clear on Tuesday night who placed the notice in the Government Gazette. The finger pointing extended from those who supported President Jacob Zuma for a second term to those who wanted Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe to be the next ANC president.
The IEC’s chief communications officer, Kate Bapela, said: “The Electoral Commission has not yet received an application for registration for the South African National Congress (SANC).”
A group called “Forces for Change”, known to be lobbying for Motlanthe, has been accused of trying to establish the new party. Former ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema and the league’s suspended spokesman, Floyd Shivambu, who have thrown their weight behind Motlanthe were also thought to be behind it.
A statement released by the Economic Freedom Fighters, which include Shivambu and Malema, said it was a “pathetic rumour” that those advocating for a leadership change were behind the attempts to register a party.
– The Mercury