ANC in KZN accuses EFF members of defacing and destroying their election posters
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DURBAN - THE ANC in KwaZulu-Natal has accused EFF members of defacing and destroying their election posters over the weekend, but the opposition party has denied this.
The ANC alleged that a number of its campaigning material bearing the face of President Cyril Ramaphosa were defaced and destroyed in Underberg, in the Harry Gwala District, in southern KZN.
ANC provincial spokesperson Nhlakanipho Ntombela, said the party had reported the matter to the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC).
“The ANC in KZN has condemned the defacing of election posters by members of the EFF, who pasted red stickers on ANC posters,” said Ntombela.
He said such acts showed blatant intolerance of the ANC and were a clear violation of electoral regulations.
“We are very concerned about the violation of the ANC's democratic right to campaign for the upcoming local government elections. During successive campaigns, the ANC observed its election materials being badly defaced or destroyed, with some having EFF stickers put on them.”
He said that the party was not going to take such acts “lying down”, as members of the opposition continue to try to disrupt their campaign.
“We are alarmed by the demagoguery of the opposition as they completely violate the process of free and fair elections,” he said, adding that the party expects the IEC to punish political parties that violate electoral codes and laws.
Ntombela added that the pictures of vandalised posters had been sent to the IEC and the police in Underberg had been asked to monitor the activities of people who deface election material with a view to catching the perpetrators of the crime.
“Destroying other political party posters should be viewed as a sign of political intolerance and lack of respect for the democratic space which the masses of our people have fought for,” added Ntombela.
EFF provincial spokesperson Nkululeko Ngubane said the party was aware of the ANC’s accusations, and described them as false and untrue.
“We saw what they are saying and it’s just a clear indication that they are desperate and just want to portray us as hooligans. How do they know it’s our members who did that? Do they have proof? The fact that their poster is covered with the EFF poster doesn’t mean our members did that. It could be their members,” said Ngubane.
Ngubane said that the party was also going to report Sunday’s incident to the IEC. The Mercury reported on Monday that EFF leader Julius Malema and other EFF members were denied access to the Sakhamuzi Community Hall voting station in Dambuza outside Pietermaritzburg by ANC members. ANC members clashed with EFF supporters and there were scuffles.
“That’s the reason why they blocked us from entering the voting station because they think we damaged their posters. Our members are disciplined and would never have embarked on such an act,” added.
IEC KZN Provincial Communications Officer Thabani Ngwira said it was dealing with a number of incidents that had been reported and he therefore could not provide information on the specific ones raised.