The African Transformation Congress (ATC) has approached the Electoral Court to challenge the registration of the African Transformation Movement (ATM), saying Mzwanele Manyi’s party was fraudulently registered by the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC).
The ATC demand that ATM’s registration be declared null and void, and unlawful.
IEC deputy chief electoral officer Masego Sheburi confirmed that the commission had received papers from the ATC detailing its application in the Electoral Court.
Sheburi could not give details of the ATC objection “because we had just received the court papers”.
However, Sheburi vowed that the commission would oppose the ATC application.
Both the ATC and ATM have a strong church backing, especially from independent churches which are not part of the South African Council of Churches, and both are linked to former president Jacob Zuma.
The ATM registered with the IEC on April 16. The ATC is said to be the mother body of the ATM, led by Buyisile Ngqulwana.
Before the commencement of the election campaign process, it was rumoured that Zuma and his followers were planning to establish the ATC as a breakaway from the ruling ANC and challenge the election at Nasrec of the current ANC national executive committee (NEC) led by Cyril Ramaphosa.
Zuma and his supporters are yet to confirm or deny their involvement in the ATC or ATM.
Although the ATC disputed the ATM registration, a party representative this week told SABC radio that ATM president Vuyolethu Zungula wrongly registered the name ATM, instead of ATC, which was the original name of the party.
But ATC is led by Caesar Nongqunga.
Yesterday, the IEC said in its records, the ATC and ATM were one party with Zungula as president.
Neither ATC nor ATM spokespersons could be reached for comment yesterday.