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ANC ‘Black-Ops’ Campaign: DA to submit formal complaint to IEC

Jan 31, 2017
ANC ‘Black-Ops’ Campaign: DA to submit formal complaint to IEC

The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Tuesday said that it will lodge a formal complaint with Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) following revelations that the African National Congress (ANC) could have used a covert R50 million operation to undermine opposition parties through social media propaganda during the 2016 Local Government Elections.

"Today, in a fruitful, frank and robust meeting with the IEC at its Election House headquarters, I raised, inter alia, the process being engaged following the ANC’s intimidation of Deputy Chairperson Terry Tselane, and the recent revelations surrounding the ANC’s unethical black-ops communications campaign targeted at Opposition Parties, including the Democratic Alliance," said DA leader, Mmusi Maimane.

"In the matter of the ANC's intimidation of the Deputy Chairperson of the Commission, and by extension the Commission itself, there was an assurance that the matter is receiving the necessary attention, and public feedback will be given soon. In this regard, I requested that a report on the intimidation be tabled before Parliament, as this is the body that this important Chapter 9 institution ultimately accounts to.

"Regarding the matter of the ANC’s false propaganda campaign, which aimed to illegally and fraudulently influence the election outcome, the Commission invited the Democratic Alliance to submit a formal complaint in order to activate an official investigation by the IEC. We have decided to do so, and will submit the formal complaint in the coming days.

"I stressed to the Commission that it must at all times maintain its strict independence and fulfill its Constitutional obligations, and that the DA will always hold them to these obligations."

IEC will apply the law

The IEC on Wednesday last week said that it had noted media reports of an alleged “covert” communication campaign during 2016 Municipal Elections, and would apply the law should there be evidence to the claims.

However, the ANC has denied the allegations

"The ANC has noted and rejects, with the contempt they deserve, reports in the media that the organisation conducted or sought to conduct a 'R50m..covert campaign targeting opposition parties' during the 2016 Local Government Election," said National Spokesperson, Zizi Kodwa.

"We further reject any allegation that the organisation owes any monies to any companies purporting to run such clandestine campaign."

He said that the party was vindicated in this matter by the South Gauteng High Court, which dismissed the application with costs on Tuesday.

"The African National Congress has always been and remains committed to running clean campaigns in all the elections we have participated in since 1994. This is because of our utmost confidence in the superiority of the ideas of the ANC, working with our people, to improve their lives for the better," said Kodwa.

"We have always, and continue to rely on our undisputed track record in fundamentally changing the lives of our people and creating a South Africa much better today than it was in 1994, as the reason we win their hearts and minds in the electoral contest.

"That there is no credible opposition party in South Africa able to match the track record, experience and capability of the ANC provides further incentive to South Africans to continue to choose the ANC, knowing that its fundamental objective is the attainment of their aspirations. Accordingly, the ANC does not need nor has it ever engaged in any clandestine 'black ops' to woo voters."

He said that the ANC reiterates that Ms Sihle Bolani, Messrs Joseph Nkadimeng and Shaka Sisulu et al were not contracted or mandated by the ANC or any of its structures tasked with the communications work of the organisation in the 2016 Local Government Election.

"Their activities were not sanctioned by the ANC and consequently, we distance ourselves against any insinuation that any such campaign was known to or approved by the African National Congress."