ANC sues defectors over name

Nov. 3, 2008 at 8:47 AM
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SANDTON, South Africa, Nov. 3 (UPI) -- Leaders of a new South African political party meant to rival the African National Conference say ANC leaders are trying to legally intimidate them.

Former ANC leaders Mosiuoa Lekota, Mbhazima Shilowa and Mluleki George announced Friday they were forming a new party called the South African Democratic Congress to compete in next year's South African elections. But Shilowa says the ANC is "abusing" the legal system to sue them over the name of their founding convention, the Independent On Line (South Africa) reported Monday.

Shortly after announcing he had decided to quit, Lekota and his rebel comrades Shilowa and George were slapped with court papers over the SADC's decision to call its founding meetings the National Convention.

Shilowa accused the ANC of "abusing the courts" in a bid to try to prevent the convention from going ahead and saying the ANC was behaving like South Africa's former apartheid government, the Web site said.

But an ANC spokesman told the Saturday Star newspaper the move was only "an application to restrain (Shilowa, Lekota and George) from using the name S.A. National Congress, or S.A. National Convention ... because they are confusingly similar (to the ANC's own brand)."

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