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Cape Town - A war of words has erupted between the two major political rivals in the Western Cape, with the ANC accusing the DA of being behind a hoax pamphlet calling on “comerade” (sic) to collect R150 from ANC councillors and community leaders in return for their efforts during the recent protests.
The pamphlet, which bears the ANC logo, reads: “Thank you to everyone who participated in the protests. We were victorious. We have left something for each one of you who participated with the following people. 3 x R150.”
It then lists the names of two councillors, Peter De Wet (Pieta) and Johanna Nellie, as well as two ANC members, Pieter Baster and Hilton Witbooi, and community leader Simon Makenzie.
Farmworkers are urged to take their IDs and go to the listed leaders’ homes to collect R150 a day for each of the three days they did not work.
And the workers took it seriously, queuing outside the leaders’ homes from 5.30am on Saturday.
The leaders reported the matter to the police.
According to Witbooi, about 20 people turned up at his front door with their IDs in hand.
“From what we can gather, the pamphlets were dropped off in their thousands, in the streets of Nuwedorp and Extension 11 in Goniwe Park in Villiersdorp,” he said.
“In my view this letter was written by a white person. The language they used is not the language of a comrade. They use words like ’n ietsie (something).”
Nellie said she was on her way out when four men accosted her outside her door.
“I immediately went to the police. This is not something the ANC would ever be a part of,” she said.
Later, when she returned to her house, there was a crowd of 40 people waiting for her.
Responding to the issue, ANC provincial secretary Songezo Mjongile said: “The DA is once again fabricating so-called confirmation to support its agenda to blame the ANC for its own failures… The DA has now produced a hoax pamphlet and made dishonest claims about the ANC.”
Mjongile took a swipe at DA leader Ivan Meyer, saying Meyer learnt from his “masters”, and was now trying to frame the ANC for the “spontaneous and organic dissatisfaction” among farmworkers.
“The DA is clearly behind the leaflet as it targets the ANC and its people of Villiersdorp only, in order to stoke unrest and expectations to get money. It is a hoax born in the heart and hands of DA supporters in its Villiersdorp right wing.”
But Meyer denied that the DA had been behind the pamphlet.
“We have information from various sources, including within the ANC, about the party’s involvement in the ongoing violent protest. They will have to pay the price for this violence that has erupted across the province. There will be consequences to individuals, the ANC and their alliance partners,” Meyer said.
He added that the DA knew the names of the ANC councillors they accuse of instigating the violence.
“We will ask the speakers of various municipalities to take action in terms of the code of conduct for councillors. We are gathering information and compiling a docket to hand over to the police,” he added.
The outraged chairman of the ANC in the Overberg region, Manie Damon, has also accused a far right group of being behind the pamphlet.
“This pamphlet is being circulated on several websites, including the Boere Krisis Aksie group,” he said.
The ANC would never stoop to such a level, said Damon.
“We support the plight of the farmworkers because it’s about their livelihood. But as a party, we will never support or encourage violence,” he said.