ANC ac­cuses DA of ‘bread for votes’

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

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

Wil­liam Ruto

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