The photo used in the DA's televised election advert was misleading, police said on Friday.
“In fact, the advertisement's footage is inaccurate and misleading as the two people shown in the image were never killed or shot at and no live ammunition was used,” SAPS spokesman Lt-Gen Solomon Makgale said in a statement.
The SA Police Service welcomed the Independent Communications Authority of SA's ruling late on Friday that its complaint about the Democratic Alliance's advert was valid. Icasa ordered the DA to remove the offending part from the advert.
The televised advert shows the DA's Gauteng premier candidate Mmusi Maimane standing in front of a mirror talking about the current state of the country. At one point he states that “the police are killing our people”. This is accompanied by a photo of a police officer firing rubber bullets at close range at two unarmed people.
Nick Ferreira, for the DA, told Icasa's complaints committee on Thursday that the photograph was authentic and taken in Bekkersdal, Westonaria, in March.
The police felt the inclusion of the photo was “utterly irresponsible, desperate and borders on lack of morality and falsehood”.
“The footage was carefully selected from one of Bekkersdal's illegal and violent protests where the police had to restore public order to protect the life of law abiding citizens and their property,” Makgale said.
The police had argued to Icasa that that part of the advert would incite violence against the police.
“We are witnessing our police officers' homes being burnt to the ground, police officers are being attacked and murdered and these type of statements will serve only to fuel such attacks on our officers,” Makgale said.
Maimane said the DA intended taking the matter to the high court. - Sapa