The South African Council of Messianic Churches in Christ (SACMCC) says reports that it has withdrawn its application to the Electoral court to have the African Transformation Movement (ATM) deregistered is misleading.
SACMCC general secretary Apostle Buyisile Ngqulwana said in a statement on Thursday said it had not anticipated the belated publication by the IEC in the Government Gazette of formal notice that it had accepted the ATM's application.
He added that was therefore appropriate to temporarily withdraw its application in order to enable it to lodge a formal appeal of the IEC.
"In terms of the applicable legislation, the SACMCC was enjoined to raise an appeal to such registration of ATM within 30 days of the date of the publication and to exhaust all its internal remedies before it sought the relief of the Electoral Court. The legal objection by SACMCC is before IEC currently for considerations," he said.
Ngqulwana said outcomes would be subjected to a review application should registration be upheld by IEC.
Last week ATM disputed claims that it was the creation of ANC secretary general Ace Magashule and former president Jacob Zuma, and accused some of the messianic churches, of which it was once a part, of working for some in the ANC.
This follows an announcement from the ANC that it was investigating the involvement of its comrades in the formation of some small parties, which were launched ahead of the 2019 national elections.
Some in the ANC believe Magashule was involved, claiming that evidence was handed over to the party in Cape Town as proof.
Although the ANC has not responded to the claims, sources have told News24 that the party would embark on an investigation into the claims around its secretary general as well as taking a broader look at the small parties and whether any of its comrades had been involved.
ATM's spokesperson, Mandisa Mashiya, told News24 that while it did not care who or what the ANC was investigating with regard to the claims, it was fascinated by the relationship between the governing party and some in the messianic church's council.
"We want to know if they are just friends or if there is something bigger happening," said Mashiya, referring to a picture of ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa with Ngqulwana.
Ngqulwana, who told News24 he was willing to help the ANC should it ask for it, said the picture was taken just before the 2019 May elections.
He added that the council had requested a meeting with the governing party in a bid to form some sort of alliance.
"We showed them our correspondence with Magashule who did not respond to our official requests."
He claimed it was Magashule who had suggested that the organisation should start a political party and that Zuma was roped in to assist it. The party garnered two seats in the National Assembly.