DA presented Nkandla opinion as fact – ANC

2015-01-19 14:37

The Constitutional Court ruling on a DA text message claiming President Jacob Zuma “stole” money, is not a victory for the opposition, says the ANC.

The highest court today upheld an appeal by the Democratic Alliance against an Electoral Court ruling that the DA could not publish the text message.

African National Congress spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said the judgment in fact vindicated the ruling party in its view that the DA had falsely presented its opinion on Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s Nkandla report as fact.

“It is regrettable that in spite of the ruling, which supports our view, the DA continues to play politics, hailing this as a victory when the Constitutional Court has been clear that the DA presented their opinions as fact on such an important matter,” he said.

The DA’s SMS, sent to around 1.5 million voters in Gauteng read: “The Nkandla report shows how Zuma stole your money to build his R246m home. Vote DA on 7 May to beat corruption. Together for change”.

Kodwa said: “It is not true that President Zuma stole taxpayers’ money to build his homestead in Nkandla – a point made by the successive reports of competent authorities, including the Public Protector”.

While the party accepted the ruling, it still held the text of the DA’s SMS to be “an outright attack on our democracy”, because it disguised misleading information as fair comment with the intention of influencing voters.

“It is incumbent upon all of us as South Africans, as part of strengthening our maturing democracy and in the contestation of ideas, we ensure that the opinions of others do not get presented as factual information in order to gain baseless advantage as has been done in this instance,” said Kodwa.

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