ANC accuses DA of ‘bread for votes’
CAPE TOWN — The ANC in the Witzenberg municipality in the Western Cape accused the DA of running a “bread for votes” campaign and has vowed to complain to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) about it.
“It is an out-and-out violation of the electoral code because you are not supposed to be giving out gifts,” ANC candidate for the municipality in the province’s fruit and wine belt, John Schuurman said on Saturday.
He said the Western Cape government, which is led by the DA, was opening an e-learning centre and play park in Op-Die-Berg on Friday. But on the sidelines the DA was handing out loaves of bread from a DA-branded vehicle, which he considered out of line.
In the spirit of keeping the elections peaceful he opted to not confront them on the spot, but decided to approach the IEC and complain instead.
“We must protect the election,” said Schuurman, an ANC proportional representation candidate.
DA constituency representative for Witzenberg James Vos denied the “votes for bread” charge, saying it was part of a weekly food programme the party funded and ran for needy families in the region. “We do it for the right reasons,” he said. Vos said the DA office usually conducted its food programme on Mondays, offering soup and other meals.
But with voting starting for special voters today, they opted to push it forward to Friday, to avoid being accused of bribing people with food. “They rely on the food we give to them,” said Vos. “They [the ANC] are the ones who hand out food parcels. I have seen it in previous elections,” he said.
Nobody was in DA-branded clothing or a DA-branded vehicle at the official handover, on specific instruction from himself, he said.
He charged that the ANC disrupted the handover by arriving in their party T-shirts and singing “war songs” which frightened the children.
An ANC councillor also said a prayer at the function in which he thanked the ANC for the municipality’s gains, he added.
Last year the DA and its coalition partners in the council submitted a motion of no-confidence in Witzenberg mayor Jacques Klazen from the Democratic Christian Party.
Councillor Barnito Klaasen was elected the new mayor and is contesting for another term.
The DA got 47.5 percent of the votes for the municipality in 2011, compared with the ANC’s 36.84 percent. The ANC’s mayoral candidate is Joyce Phungula.
Meanwhile, Former Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe yesterday laid into the current state of the ruling party, warning it may self-sabotage.
“It may be possible at some point to salvage the ANC from this race to the bottom. But it is also equally possible that the ANC may so thoroughly discredit itself that there may be nothing to salvage,” Motlanthe said in an interview published in the Sunday newspaper. But, the ANC stalwart said, “It has to get worse first.” The ANC had “increasingly lost its ability to be representative of ordinary people,” said the former president of South Africa.
ANC leaders in government no longer relied on reason, he suggested. “In the past, the ANC always prided itself on relying on a superior argument. Now, it’s numbers they rely on.”
Motlanthe also said that the party had become reactive. “. . . for every small irritation, they use language that belongs to the period prior to 1994 . . .
“The ANC, which is my organisation, has lost its historical perspective.”
Motlanthe said he chose to leave the leadership structures of the organisation when he realised that this echelon “only wanted to adhere to its constitution selectively”.
“In spite of raising these issues, nothing happened — . . . That’s why I felt I should exit,” he said.
Motlanthe decried a lack of leadership in the country in the present.
“It’s almost as though the country is on autopilot,” he said, adding he could never return to a leadership position as “the structures are in a sense bogus structures. When you have something like that, it is not possible.” Mandela warned South Africans against DA – ANC
President Nelson Mandela warned South Africans against the Democratic Alliance until he died, ANC leader in the Eastern Cape Mlibo Qoboshiyane told News24.
“They opposed him . . . The first organisation to oppose Nelson Mandela was the DA under Tony Leon. That is what Madiba left understanding, that only the DA stands to oppose him. Even on his grave he knew that an he warned people against the DA.”
DA leader Mmusi Maimane unveiled banners last week, asking South Africans to honour Mandela by voting for the DA.
Qoboshiyane said the DA had failed to address imbalances and racism in its internal structures.
He said the ANC welcomed senior members of the DA on Saturday.
“Once the members are leaving a party on the eve like this, it tells you that the DA has turned to use the majority of black people without dealing with the very intricate problems of racism.” He added that this would hurt the DA on voting day. Qoboshiyane was speaking ahead of his party’s Siyanqoba rally at Buffalo City stadium.
He told News24 provincial leaders would be dabbing for victory. “We are ready for the dab. I have my dancing shoes and I’m ready for to celebrate,” he said.
The ANC was expecting to fill the 16,000 seater stadium.
But several seats remained open minutes before the event was scheduled to start. — Sapa
Secretary General of the ruling party and president of the national assembly, Aubin Minaku (L) speaks during a rally in support of Congolese President Joseph Kabila in Kinshasa, on July 29, 2016. AFP