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Johannesburg - The intimidation of voters by the ruling party, similar to that in Zimbabwe, will not be allowed in South Africa, Agang SA said on Friday.
“Since the launch of Agang SA as a political party in June, there has been a growing number of incidents of intimidation,” said the party's women's organiser Vanessa Hani.
“We have seen what happened in Zimbabwe, and Agang SA is determined that we shall not let the African National Congress Zanufy South African politics.... Keep your eyes wide-open citizens, because this government is doing it under your noses,” she said.
The ANC responded that it abhorred any political intolerance
“We diligently guard the right of each and every citizen of this country to their political opinions and political activity,” said ANC spokeswoman Khusela Sangoni-Khawe.
“If any of our members, if there is any evidence of wrongdoing committed by members, the organisation would want that brought to its attention so it could deal with the matter.”
She said the ANC encouraged anyone involved, including ANC members, to also report the incidents to the police.
Speaking in Pretoria, where Agang SA handed a memorandum of concerns to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), Hani claimed several incidents of ANC voter intimidation had taken place this year.
Agang SA charged that in July, a community meeting it organised in Mokopane was disrupted by a local ANC councillor who arrived unannounced at the event and told the crowd to follow him if they wanted candles, food parcels, and jobs.
In August, in Bela Bela's Section 28, the local ANC mayor apparently demanded to be given an audience at an Agang SA-organised community meeting, and the police had to be called in to remove him.
ANC councillors had also attended Agang SA functions in the Western Cape, where they had tried “to make a nuisance of themselves”, said Hani.
She claimed the people who hired a Bloemfontein hall to the party in September were intimidated into not opening it for Agang SA, and ANC members were taken there as part of its “intimidation tactics”.
Hani said party member Nyako Masenya was killed during the launch of an Agang SA branch in Uitkyk, Bochum, Limpopo.
However, Limpopo police refused to confirm that a man killed in Uitkyk was a member of Agang SA.
“Away from the attention of the media, a pattern of systematic corruption of the political process has emerged,” Hani said.
“Enough is enough. Our people did not fight and die in the struggle so that nearly 20 years after freedom we are still not free to exercise freedom of association and political rights protected under the Constitution.”
After 20 years of ANC government, corruption was affecting every sphere of South African public life, she charged.
Agang SA was determined that corruption would not spread to the conduct of free and fair elections.
“The foundations of our constitutional democracy are being systematically attacked; the judicial system, the freedom of the press, accountability of government and the human rights of all citizens,” she said.
“So, we will not let citizen Masenya die in vain. In his honour we are inspired to launch today Agang SA's 'Free and Fair' campaign.”
The party urged the IEC to be vigilant in fulfilling its obligations to ensure the 2014 elections were free and fair, in accordance with South African and international law.