DA leader Mmusi Maimane.
Cape Town - The ANC is facing two possible probes into its "war room" project, that allegedly sought to dig dirt on opposition parties, after the official opposition asked the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) and Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to investigate the party.

The IEC and Icasa said on Tuesday they would look into the matter, with the IEC insisting the issue would be discussed at its next full meeting.

“The commission can confirm that a meeting took place today with members of the Democratic Alliance at the Electoral Commission’s national office in Centurion,” said the IEC.

“The DA delegation was led by the leader of the party, Mr Mmusi Maimane.

On the other hand, the delegation of the Electoral Commission was led by the chairperson, Mr Glen Mashinini,” said the commission.

It said this was a scheduled meeting arising from an incident that took place in August following a request by the DA.

“The commission can also confirm that Mr Maimane took the opportunity of today’s engagement to raise concerns regarding ongoing reports of the ANC ‘War Room’ and allegations of a misinformation campaign,” it said.

“The commission delegation has noted all the issues raised by the DA and has undertaken to report and deliberate on these matters at the full meeting of the commission,” it added.

Maimane said following his discussions with the IEC on the ANC’s alleged fake news campaign the commission promised to investigate the matter.

He said the IEC urged him to submit a formal complaint and it would investigate it.

He said this would be done in the coming days.

At the same time, in Parliament, DA MP Phumzile van Damme asked Icasa to conduct a similar probe against the ANC, saying an inquiry was needed.

Icasa refused to be drawn into the "war room" project, saying it did not investigate print media on fake news allegations.

However, it urged Van Damme to submit a formal complaint on the matter.

Icasa’s councillor Nomvuyiso Batyi told MPs on Tuesday its mandate was to regulate the broadcasting sector, and it would not be involved in matters related to other sectors of the media.

Batyi was responding to questions from Van Damme on whether they would launch an inquiry into the alleged fake news saga.

However, Batyi said Van Damme could send her request to Icasa in writing so that they could look at it further.

Icasa was appearing before the portfolio committee on communications on the SABC’s failure to comply with its order to lift the ban on violent protests.

The ANC has been accused of setting up a "war room" ahead of the local government elections in August.

PR consultant Sihle Bolani is suing the ANC for R2.2 million for not paying her for the work done. ANC general manager Ignatius Jacobs has launched a counter-lawsuit against Bolani.

The ANC has denied the allegations of a fake news campaign and said the people involved in the project were volunteers.

Batyi said they wouldn't get involved in matters outside the broadcast sector. “I will take guidance from the committee because, chairperson. I don’t have authority to speak on that. We don’t regulate the content of the news,” she said.

“We regulate that the news must be conducted in a fair manner,” said Batyi.

She said it would be difficult for Icasa to get into an area that did not relate to its mandate.

She said she wanted more detailed information from Van Damme on what it was that they wanted to do with the alleged fake news.

But Batyi insisted that they would not be involved in matters out of the law.“We are required to do inquiries, but those inquiries must be guided by the law,” she said.

Van Damme said she would give Icasa more details on the alleged fake news.

ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa could not be reached for comment on the issues.

Political Bureau