FF Plus, DA in tit-for-tat spat

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James Selfe is a Democratic Alliance member of Parliament. Picture: Damaris Helwig

Johannesburg - The Democratic Alliance and Freedom Front Plus were embroiled on Friday in a tit-for-tat spat over charges that the FF Plus laid against the DA with the IEC.

“The DA is distributing false information in a comprehensive campaign against the FF Plus and the IEC has been requested to put an immediate stop to it,” FF Plus parliamentary leader Pieter Groenewald said in a statement.

The complaints sent to the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) were related to the DA's text message and radio advertising campaigns, as well as certain pamphlets and a dispute about the Electoral Act's deadline for marketing.

The text message sent by the DA reads: “The FF+ is too small to make a difference and in addition their leader sits in Zuma's cabinet. Don't waste your vote on the FF +. Vote DA”.

Groenewald said according to the Constitution, as a deputy minister he was not part of Cabinet.

“The statement that the FF Plus is 'too small to make a difference', is also essentially false,” he said.

“With 16 percent support, the DA in comparison to the ANC's support is not 'a large party' at all or a threat to the ANC's 66

percent.”

The FF Plus complained that the sms was created by “illegally obtaining information containing personal information from data bases”.

Groenewald said his party believed that a pamphlet headed “A vote for the FF+ is a vote for Zuma” and radio advertisements aired on Radio Sonder Grense and Jacaranda FM were “factually incorrect”.

In the complaint sent to the IEC, the party asks for relief, including the withdrawal of the advertisements, a stop to unsolicited direct marketing such as mass smses, and an apology.

DA MP James Selfe said his party did not believe that any of the FF Plus's complaints had any merit.

“If the FF Plus believes that we have infringed on any laws or codes, then they are welcome to lay a charge at the police or Electoral Court. We will defend any and all such actions in a very robust way.”

Selfe said the problems the FF Plus had with the DA seemed to be complaints, rather than charges.

“They are flimflam things,” he said.

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