Ricochet News

ANC alleges election intimidation ahead of Beaufort West by-election

Feb 27, 2018
ANC alleges election intimidation ahead of Beaufort West by-election

The African National Congress (ANC) in the Beaufort West area, which lost to the Democratic Alliance (DA) in last week's by-election, says that reports of election intimidation have since come to its attention. 

"Alarming reports about gross interference in the democratic process, and vile undermining of democracy have reached me in the aftermath of the Ward 2 by-election of Wednesday last, 21 February," said Chairperson ANC: Beaufort West Ward 2, Alderman Truman Prince.

"ANC elections workers were denied access, by design or by chance, on several of 26 farms in a 350km radius in this vast ward.

"In some cases election workers were confronted by locked gates; in other cases access had been denied in person; in still other cases threats of trespassing charges were received. In many cases attempts to reach land owners for access had been unsuccessful."

Prince said that some farm workers report that they were not allowed opportunity to visit a polling station.

"Some complained that they felt threatened with losing their jobs for insisting to vote. Others were literally herded to a specific party table, and although the vote remains secret, intimidation had certainly been quite naked. This offence makes a mockery of our democracy," he added.

"The reports, be they the more or the less accurate, remain disturbing. It is as if 23 years of democracy have not tempered baasskap attitude. Although the direct impact of apartheid abuse is tempered, the indirect effect of abuse dressed up in temperance continue to intimidate for the illicit promotion of the will of the few over the hopes of the many.

"The government must address this outrage. The IEC must attend this blatant subversion. The media must expose this appal. Society must rise against this continued injustice."

He said that it is "abundantly clear", from the February 25 Karoo Democratic Force (KDF) media statement, that the DA "continues to intimidate by its entrenched and continuing, nay, growing, baasskap attitude".

"The new KDF and ANC coalition in Beaufort West will address this loathsome blight threatening our hard won democracy," he added.