ANC's 'black ops' campaign violated electoral code - DA

2017-01-29 13:53
Mmusi Maimane (Netwerk24)

Mmusi Maimane (Netwerk24) (Voight Mokone)

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Johannesburg - The Democratic Alliance says it is time for the ANC to "come clean" and provide a full and frank briefing to the public about exactly what their fake news "black ops" unit did, and to whom.

DA Leader Mmusi Maimane on Sunday said the release of secret tape recordings proved that a top ANC headquarters official, general manager Ingatius Jacobs, knew about the controversial disinformation campaign. 

He said this grouping, in violation of the Electoral Code of Conduct, had deliberately produced and distributed false content about its political opponents, including the DA.

"The ANC’s fraudulent propaganda campaign is in clear violation of the Electoral Code of Conduct, which is designed to enforce the principle of conditions that are conducive to free and fair elections."

Maimane said he would be raising the matter with the IEC on Tuesday morning.

Code of Conduct

The Code of Conduct, which all political parties, including the ANC, subscribed to ahead of the 2016 elections, states in terms of Sections 89(2)(a) and (c): "No person may publish any false information with the intention of creating hostility of fear in order to influence the conduct or outcome of an election; or influencing the conduct or outcome of an election."

According to Maimane, such violations come with, among other sanctions, a fine of up to R200 000 and/or having the registration of the Party cancelled.

"This is a serious matter that should be condemned by all South African who believe in the basic requirement of free and fair elections."

Public relations expert Sihle Bolani made damning claims in an affidavit that the ANC owed her R2.2m for work she had done during a covert campaign aimed at tarnishing the image of opposition parties ahead of the 2016 local government elections.

Bolani signed a R1m settlement agreement with Jacobs in early December, but is now demanding the full amount, as she has still not been paid. The agreement, attached to the court papers, is on an ANC letterhead.

Part of her job was to advance a positive narrative about the ruling party in the lead-up to the elections.

The ANC planned to spend R50m on the covert campaign, according to papers Bolani filed in the High Court in Johannesburg.

According to an amaBhungane report published by News24, this included a seemingly independent news site and a chat show, using "influencers" on social media, and plans to print fake opposition party posters.

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  mmusi maimane  |  politics  |  local elections 2016

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