The ANC was unable to obtain the rights to the domain name of its website after a judge appointed by DomainDisputes.co.za ruled against the party this week.
The party applied to the authority after the Unwembi Communications service provider became the owner of the ANC domain name www.anc.org.za.
Previously, News24 reported that there were allegations that the R32m bill was not paid to the service provider, which prompted Unwembi to disconnect, forcing the party to register a new domain and leave behind data for many years.
READ: ANC website remains closed due to unpaid R32m bill charges
"This website has been suspended due to non-payment by the service provider," said the message, which welcomed the browsers that were trying to access the site.
But in his submission to the judge, the ANC stated that Unwembi posted a malicious notice on the site, which seriously affected its image, brand and business.
The party claimed that Unwembi acted in bad faith, despite the agreements concluded, which were included in the termination of the contract between the two parties.
He said that he is now considering a lawsuit.
“Since the judge’s decision ruled against the ANC, we will now prosecute our domain names and websites and have already informed the senior lawyer,” the party said in a statement.
READ MORE: ANC's updated website starts working after the non-payment drama
The party said that Unwembi was formed by individuals with the assistance of the ANC, who were originally part of the IT department of the movement that registered and developed the website.
“When Unwembi was formed in 1997, the ANC instructed comrades to continue to manage their websites. Around 2015, ownership of Unwembi changed hands when some of its original founders retired, ”the statement said.
ANC said its struggle to regain ownership and control over the domain name is a matter of principle.
"This is an important part of the 107-year-old heritage of our movement and people, and no private company or individual can claim the rights to this rich and distinguished history."
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