Johannesburg - The DA is legally allowed to send people SMSes on their cellphones and those who are unhappy should just use the “opt out function”, says Democratic Alliance (DA) national spokesperson Refiloe Nt’sekhe.
The DA has come under fire from angry South Africans for sending unsolicited SMSes to thousands of people that warn them about the ANC and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) possibly taking their private homes.
Hundreds of people took to social media at the weekend to complain about the SMS that states: "ANC and EFF working together to take all private homes and land. You can only stop this if you are registered correctly to vote".
Nt’sekhe on Monday confirmed that the SMSes are indeed from the party.
“Yes, the SMS is from us. It’s one of ours. The message aligns hundred percent with what we have been saying about the land question,” she said.
She said those who are unhappy with messages are welcome to opt out by registering their number on the party’s website.
“We all receive messages that we do not want from sales companies and we just message stop or unsubscribe. The electoral legislation actually allows us to communicate with voters, but if they do not want us to communicate with them then they can unsubscribe,” said Nt’sekhe.
“We do have our voters who would like the messages who also want us to carry on, unfortunately the few people who are upset are the ones that are vocal. But the millions who do want us to communicate what the value of the DA is, they are not communicating because they are happy with the DA message and want to know what the values of the DA are,” she said.
The party had been criticized not only for sending the messages to thousands of people's phones without permission, but also for its content being factually incorrect.
However, Nt’sekhe denied that the party was lying to citizens when it claimed that the ANC and EFF plan to take their homes away.
“People should not be angry about the SMS, I think people should be angry that we are going to have expropriation of land without compensation. Our policy is completely different from that.
“It’s logical to assume that what the EFF is doing is trying to take away people’s private homes and then decide for us as the citizens of South Africa what the land on our properties will be used for,” said Nt’sekhe.