Johannesburg - KwaZulu-Natal Agriculture MEC Meshack Radebe must apologise for telling people not to use social grants if they do not vote for the ANC, the DA said on Wednesday.
"The DA demands a formal public apology from the [Jacob] Zuma ANC, and MEC Radebe," DA provincial leader Sizwe Mchunu said in a statement.
"Radebe must apologise for his statements and retract them."
The Star reported on Wednesday that Radebe said those who received social welfare grants but voted for opposition political parties were stealing from government.
"Nxamalala [President Jacob Zuma] has increased grants, but there are people who are stealing them by voting for opposition parties," he was quoted as saying.
"If you are in the opposition, you are like a person who comes to my house, eats my food and then insults me."
Radebe, who was previously the province's social development MEC, warned those who wanted to vote for other parties to "stay away from the grant".
His comments were made in Greytown on Tuesday in Zuma's presence.
Mchunu told the newspaper the comments were "insulting and misleading".
"The money for social grants comes from the taxes that people pay. This is purely ANC propaganda," he was quoted as saying.
Mchunu on Wednesday said social grants were a government service, and not a party-political patronage system.
"A DA government would also implement social grants. The government also has no right to deny anyone social grants, no matter who they vote for."
He said the ANC was purposefully spreading misinformation about how government worked, how social grants worked, how elections worked and what the DA's stance was on social grants to get people to vote ANC out of fear.
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