ANC supporters in Zamdela. (K Dipa, Sapa)
Johannesburg - Political parties intensified their
campaigning in various parts of the country on Saturday ahead of the 7 May general
Some campaigns ran smoothly while the scheduled rally for
the Economic Freedom Fighters in Thokoza, south of Johannesburg, was allegedly
sabotaged in a pre-dawn petrol bomb attack.
EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said the stage and marquee
that had been set up at the Sam Ntuli stadium was torched.
"During the early hours of this morning [Saturday],
people came and petrol bombed the marquees, stage, sound system and
chairs," he said.
"No arrests have been made, but we have opened a case
The party's premier candidate Dali Mpofu was initially
scheduled to address the rally at 10:00, but it was moved to the afternoon
because of the incident. Police were monitoring the area.
"We are not going to back down, we will stand our
ground and continue with event."
The party suspected that African National Congress members
may have been behind it.
"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," Ndlozi told Sapa.
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.
ANC top brass out campaigning
Meanwhile, the ANC's top brass addressed campaigns in
Johannesburg, Pretoria, Sasolburg, Newcastle, Ntuzuma, Khosi Bay, Parys, and
Cala in the Eastern Cape.
President Jacob Zuma kicked off his campaign in the Zamdela
informal settlement in Sasolburg, in the Free State.
Residents lined the perimeter of the settlement and cheered
as Zuma arrived.
Residents, some in ANC attire, took out their cellphones to
snap pictures of him.
Residents told Zuma of their problems, and Zuma reassured
them that their complaints would be addressed. As Zuma made his way through the
settlement he was stopped by a group of children, who cheered him on. Zuma
paused and said: "these are our future voters."
He handed them African National Congress T-shirts. Zuma then
sat next to an elderly woman on a crate outside her shack. She told him that
she lived in the shack with her seven grandchildren, some of whom did not go to
school or have birth certificates.
Zuma told her to send them to school on Monday.
He hugged her, as well as her grandchildren, before going on
ANC treasurer general Zweli Mkhize headed to Khosi Bay in
northern KwaZulu-Natal and addressed traditional leaders, teachers and nurses.
He also visited shopping centres as part of the party's door-to-door effort.
"The ANC is poised for an overwhelming victory," he said during his
ANC spokesperson Bongani Tembe said the party had been
carrying out its own snap survey since the start of their election trail last
year, and their results showed the ANC would win.
"The majority of people say they will vote for the ANC.
When we do door-to-door visits, we asked whether they will vote for the
During the visits, the party takes down complaints, and
tells residents about the ANC's future plans.
"Our election campaign throughout the country has
reached a very high gear, and we are now consolidating our support and
reminding people to go and vote," said Tembe.
"The people we interact with do not raise the issue of
the Nkandla report. All they say is that they want service delivery and tell us
of their problems," said Tembe.
Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found that Zuma improperly
benfited from R246m security upgrades to his Nkandla homestead which included a
swimming pool, an amphitheatre and a cattle kraal. Zuma said he will not repay
the money because he did not ask for the upgrades.
Other leaders due to address election campaigns on Saturday
were deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe, ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa,
the party's chairperson Baleka Mbete, DA leader Helen Zille, and EFF leader
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