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ANC will appeal court ruling to stop 'unlawful' use of its trademarks by MK Party


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ANC will appeal court ruling to stop 'unlawful' use of its trademarks by MK Party

Image of Fikile Mbalula
ANC secretary general Fikile Mbalula

22nd April 2024

By: Thabi Shomolekae
Creamer Media Senior Writer


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The African National Congress (ANC) announced on Monday its intention to appeal the judgment of the High Court, in Durban, after losing another legal battle against the newly formed uMkhonto weSizwe Party (MK Party).

The court dismissed with costs the ANC's application against the MK Party over its logo.


The ANC took the MK Party to court to stop the party from using the name and logo associated with the ANC’s military wing, formed during the apartheid era.

ANC secretary general Fikile Mbalula said that the party would be appealing the matter to stop and prohibit the “unlawful” use of the ANC’s trademarks, symbols, and heritage by former President Jacob Zuma’s newly formed MK Party.


“In appealing the judgment, the ANC will centre the question of whether the unauthorised use of one’s intellectual property is contingent on what and how the unauthorised party uses the property for. Furthermore, we believe that the goodwill associated with the Umkhonto w Sizwe Party is that of the ANC. It is this goodwill that Zuma's Party is attempting to unduly appropriate unto itself,” said Mbalula.

He explained that in the application considered by the Durban High Court, the ANC relied on Section 34 of the Trade Marks Act, to show that the MK Party was misrepresenting itself as being connected or associated with the ANC, with the use of the ANC’s logo and name, uMkhonto weSizwe.

The ANC argued in court that the MK Party wanted to confuse voters ahead of the elections.

Mbalula said his party reiterated that it was committed to respecting the laws of the country and to a free and fair election in line with the Electoral Code.

“As an organisation that values all the different facets of democracy we are not opposed to the Zuma Party’s presence on the ballot. However, in bringing this case the ANC is defending its intellectual property, the legacy of the liberation struggle for future generations,” he said.

He stated that the country’s democracy stood on the shoulders of the men and women who joined uMkhonto weSizwe, the Spear of the Nation, at a time when being associated with the ANC was virtually a death sentence.

“The ANC was and is to this day the heart and soul of uMkhonto weSizwe. We strongly believe an appeal is duly warranted,” Mbalula said.


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