Johannesburg – The EFF suspects that ANC members could be
behind the arson attack on the stage and marquee set up for its rally in
Thokoza on Saturday.
Economic Freedom Fighters spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said
on Saturday morning that the marquees, stage, sound system and chairs were
petrol bombed in the early hours of the morning, ahead of a planned address by the
party's premier candidate Dali Mpofu.
Ndlozi said the event will still go ahead, starting at 14:00
instead of the planned starting time of 10:00.
"We are not going to back down, we will stand our
ground and continue with event."
Ndlozi said the party suspected that African National
Congress members could have been behind the arson attack.
"Police and the EFF were tipped off [on Friday] about
threats of disruption by ANC members [but] we thought the disruption would
happen during the event."
ANC denies accusation
ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu rejected the accusation.
"We never do such things. This is an unfair
accusation," he said.
"It is totally uncalled-for and anyone who burnt that
marquee must be found and prosecuted."
He said the EFF's accusation amounted to negative
politicking, which went against the Electoral Act.
Mthembu said the floodgates for negative political practices
ahead of the elections have been opened following the ruling by the South
Gauteng High Court relating to an SMS sent out by the DA.
"People have a licence now to say anything about a
political party. This is what we feared," he said.
The ANC's application was for the Democratic Alliance to
retract a text message sent to more than a million potential voters accusing
President Jacob Zuma of stealing public money. This follows the release of the
Public Protector's report into upgrades at Zuma's Nkandla homestead.
Judge Mike Hellens dismissed the ANC's application with
costs, finding that the SMS constituted "fair comment".
Mthembu said that Hellens failed to take aspects of the
Electoral Act into account in his judgment.
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