The African National Congress (ANC) sent a cease-and-desist letter to the newly formed uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) party demanding that the organisation change its name and logo.
The MK party, supported by ex-president Jacob Zuma, not only uses the name of the former liberation movement’s armed wing, but its logo also consists of the governing party’s green and gold colours.
In the six-page letter the ANC, through its lawyers, argued that it used the MK trademark for several decades.
There are slight differences between the ANC’s MK logo and that of the party, but the similarities remain a risk to the governing party.
While Zuma’s logo is in colour and the spear is not above the MK soldier figure’s head, the ANC maintains that this is likely to deceive or cause confusion.
It also argued that through the name and logo, the new party, also linked to a Mr Jabulani Khumalo, will take unfair advantage that could be detrimental to the distinctive character of the well-known MK brand.
The governing party also made a case for how it used the name MK from its inception in 1961, including its recent acquisition of the trademark from a non-profit, Legacy Projects.
Khumalo and his MK Party, which was registered with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) in September, have until 29 December to drop the name or face court action.