Muslim party slams 'racist' pamphlet

By Anél Powell

The Africa Muslim Party (AMP) has denied any knowledge of a "racist" pamphlet being distributed in Tafelsig, Mitchells Plain, on its official letterhead, and said it would report the matter to the Independent Electoral Commission and the police on Monday.

AMP councillor and mayoral committee member for economic development, Wasfie Hassiem, said: "We know who to point fingers at but we cannot say anything until there has been an investigation."

The strongly-worded pamphlet, which refers to DA leader Tony Leon and his wife Michal as "Zionists", has been slammed by the DA as "an example of the lowest kind of gutter politics".

The DA's Ryan Coetzee said the names of two people suspected of handing out the inflammatory pamphlet would be forwarded to the police.

Coetzee said Leon would lay a charge of crimen injura with the police on Monday.

The pamphlet states: "Tony Leon and his Israeli wife are supporters of the racist and murderous Israeli government."

The document urges Muslims to "fight against oppression" by not voting for the DA.

Residents of the impoverished Mitchell's Plain suburb vote in a crucial by-election, contested by the DA and the Independent Democrats (ID), on Wednesday.

Ward 82 was won by Sheval Arendse of the ID in March, but he resigned from the party when the ID voted with the ANC in the mayoral election on March 15.

Now the DA candidate for the area, Arendse will stand against community worker June Frans of the ID in the poll.

A DA win would bolster the precarious multi-party government voting power in council by giving the DA another seat.

The run-up to the by-election has been marred by controversy, with the ID accusing the DA of political point-scoring by allowing executive mayor Helen Zille to take part in an anti-crime motorcade through the area last week.

The event was interrupted by ID councillors who refused to remove their party T-shirts before taking part in the procession.

This is the second time the AMP, which forms part of the DA-led multi-party government, has alleged that it had been defrauded.

In April, a letter purporting to have been written by the provincial chairman of the AMP, signed by "M M Bedford", was sent to the city claiming that two of the party's councillors had been expelled for joining the multi-party government.

The AMP said the letter was fraudulent and referred the matter to the police.

Hassiem said yesterday that the latest pamphlet was been reproduced on official AMP stationery.

"This is blatant fraud. Someone is trying to destabilise the multi-party government," he said.

Ryan said the DA would refer the matter to the IEC "because the pamphlet constitutes an out-and-out violation of the Electoral Act".

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