DA accuses ANC of 'abusing' council funds on election campaign in Port St. Johns

NOVEMBER 15, 2016

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Eastern Cape on Monday said that it will request the Public Protector to investigate an incident that occurred on Friday, 4 November 2016, where African National Congress (ANC) Councillors and council office bearers wore ANC party paraphernalia and canvassed votes at a Speaker’s Outreach Programme meeting held a few days before the Port St. Johns ward 7 by-election.

"This abuse of state funds for ANC events must stop, this behaviour was totally unethical and all of those responsible must face disciplinary action," described Veliswa Mvenya, DA Eastern Cape Provincial Chairperson..

"The looting of state resources for party political campaigning is outrageous! It amounts to ANC capture of the municipal budget. This is why the Public Protector has the duty of investigating this matter."

Mveya said that the event, which turned out to be an opportunity for the ANC to canvass votes, was funded by the OR Tambo District Municipality.

"The Chief Whip of OR Tambo District Municipality, Councillor Toko Sokanyile, allegedly told council office bearers and the crowd to vote ANC on 9 November for the ward 7 by-election.

"The Port St. Johns Local Municipality Speaker, Councillor Tandisizwe Khukhula, proceeded to introduce the ANC candidate to those present," described.

"The Speaker of Ingquza Hill Local Municipality, Councillor Ntandokazi Chapa, the Port St. Johns Local Municipality Chief Whip, Bulelwa Nokanda, the Speaker of OR Tambo District Municipality, Councillor Xolile Kompela, the OR Tambo District Municipality Chief Whip, Councillor Toko Sokanyile and the Speaker of Port St. Johns Local Municipality, Councillor Tandisizwe Khukhula were all dressed in ANC attire.

"According to the Standing Rules and Orders for the meetings of the Council and its Committees, no Councillor is allowed to wear any clothing or accessory containing party political paraphernalia to any meeting.

"As far as I’m concerned, those who authorized these payments should pay back the money as this is a contravention of the Municipal Finance Management Act as it amounts to fruitless and wasteful expenditure.

"I will also be reporting this to the Office of Electoral Offences of the IEC as this makes a mockery of free and fair elections when state resources are misused."

The ANC retained the ward following the by-election.