The South African Rainbow Alliance (Sara) led by former Cope member Colleen Makhubele has accused Rise Mzansi of destroying its election posters across the Gauteng province.
On Tuesday, Sara spokesperson Sonia Mokheseng said in a statement that the party would be approaching the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) to report the matter. She said that instead of smaller parties coming together, some of the parties were tearing one another apart.
“We should all be worried when new parties engage in political manoeuvring and chicaneries like the old guards who have mastered the art of election interference and unfair practices, including violence. Sara posters which were splashed all over Gauteng and other provinces have been clandestinely taken down and replaced with Rise Mzansi posters,” Mokheseng said.
She said all of its election posters in the City of Joburg had been replaced by those of Rise Mzansi, suggesting that the party was responsible for the acts of sabotage.
“All Sara posters have been removed in Joburg and replaced with Rise Mzansi posters. In other places, Sara posters have been replaced with IEC posters.
“There is a deliberate effort to destroy Sara and curtail its publicity and, even more sad for South Africans, is if the new parties fail to appreciate our multiparty democracy and fair electioneering practices including the IEC code of conduct. We might just be recycling the same old rubbish to put back in high office,“ she said.
According to Mokheseng, this is not the first incident of intimidation that some members of the party have faced in the build-up to the elections.
She said the party is concerned about these acts of intimidation.
“Since the formation of Sara, its members have been experiencing political intimidation and threats. And of late, we have seen thousands of our posters removed and left in dumping sites across the country.
“This is a serious concern if we are going to replace current unscrupulous politicians and hope to bring change with clear moral values.
:South Africa is in dire need of politicians with integrity and moral character to replace the criminals that we have in power who have in entered into a Faustian pact for power at all cost!,” she said.
However, in response to a media enquiry by The Star, Rise Mzansi spokesperson Mabine Seabe rejected the claims, saying it would be against its values for members of the party to engage in dirty politics.
“One of Rise Mzansi's values is Integrity, which every organiser, supporter, leader and volunteer subscribes to. It is not our politics or modus operandi to engage in dirty campaigning.
“From the videos being circulated, it is clear that one the ropes on our poster has come loose during the daily inclement weather Gauteng has experienced.
“We have no reason nor inclination to undermine the work of other political parties. To do so would also be a violation of the electoral code of conduct, which Rise Mzansi subscribes to,” Seabe said.