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Public protector gets 'food parcels for votes' complaints

2014-04-21 21:04
Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has received three complaints against the ANC using state resources for its election campaign, her spokesperson said on Monday.

"The Public Protector received three complaints - one from the DA and two from Agang SA," said Oupa Segalwe.

He said the public protector was at this stage investigating whether there were grounds to launch a full investigation.

"The DA complaint relates to the by-election in Tlokwe [Potchefstroom] last year. The party alleges that food parcels were used in the ANC campaign ahead of the by-election," he said.

"Agang SA's complaint relates to allegations that food parcels were used in the ANC campaign in the Western Cape and that the Gauteng provincial government used ANC-related colours on its billboard."

He said he was not aware if there was a new complaint lodged with the public protector.

The Sunday Times reported that the Democratic Alliance was set to take the ANC and the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) to court over the alleged distribution of food parcels at ANC election rallies.

DA federal executive chair James Selfe told the newspaper that legal papers were served on ANC Western Cape chairperson Marius Fransman and the SA Social Security Agency as the DA believed that these organisations were involved in "the grotesque and continued abuse of state resources for party political gain".

The case - in which the department of social development would be interdicted - was expected to be brought before the Western Cape High Court in Cape Town, sitting as an Electoral Court.

Selfe said that he had footage of a recent ANC event in Atlantis where food parcels were distributed by the department of social development, the national development agency and Sassa.

On Thursday, the DA received a joint reply from the department of social development (DSD) and Sassa in which the two bodies said that the opposition party was "contemptuous of the poor" to suggest the distribution of food parcels "constitutes an abuse".

"There has not been any intentional alignment of poverty relief interventions by DSD and/or Sassa with the election campaigns of any specific party," said the letter signed by social development department acting director general Wiseman Magasela.

Meanwhile, Fransman told the Sunday Times that he was unaware of the DA's legal action.

Referring to the event in Atlantis, Fransman said he was "free to go wherever... [he] wanted."

He said his message to the DA was "cowboys don't cry".

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- SAPA
Read more on: sassa  |  da  |  anc  |  agang  |  thuli madonsela  |  james selfe  |  marius fransman  |  elections 2014  |  politics

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