DA raises worries over poster wars

2009-02-19 00:00

ELECTION posters have only been up since last week, but the Democratic Alliance (DA) is already concerned about the way its posters are being treated.

The party confirmed yesterday it has lodged a complaint with the Office of the Premier after one of its posters was moved from its top position on a street pole in Chota Motala Road (Old Greytown Road) to the bottom where it is barely visible.

Although still attached to its pole, the poster in question was almost resting on the ground when The Witness tracked it down yesterday. Not only was it having to compete with Prophet Richard Gray's promises of a miracle healing, but it was also fighting for space with a roadworks sign.

An unscientific survey of a section of Chota Motala yesterday revealed one other, less extreme, instance where a DA poster seemed to have been lowered to accommodate the long green vertical banner advertising yesterday's state of the province address by Premier S'bu Ndebele.

DA chief whip for Msunduzi Mark Steele yesterday said that although the complaint of "moving" a poster is not as severe as defacement, tampering or removal, it still warrants a response.

"In this way we allow an opportunity for the problem to be corrected without it becoming a legal issue."

Under the Electoral Act, it is possible to lay a criminal charge for abuse of election material, which includes posters.

Steele said the party is concerned about a number of other reports of poster vandalism from different parts of the city and will be investigating these. He said the city centre where human traffic is high is a prime problem area for all party posters. "Posters are an easy target for anyone who wants to express an opinion, either negative or positive," he said.

Election posters on a pole on Chota Motala Road. The DA's poster can be seen at the bottom.

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