Former DA leader Tony Leon said the elections are indeed the perfect place to punish the ANC, countering the ruling party's president, Cyril Ramaphosa's pleas to the electorate in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) to vote ANC.
"Of course, you should use your vote to punish the ANC," Leon said on Tuesday evening at a DA meeting in Centurion.
Leon said the electorate's vote was the very tool to deal with political parties, adding that there is one of three choices a voter can make - reward, punish or stay away.
"This idea that you can't use your vote to punish bad performance is an absurd remark actually."
Leon, a founding member of the DA has been campaigning for the official opposition party in Gauteng, ahead of the general elections that takes place on May 8.
On Saturday, Ramaphosa told communities in KZN that elections are not the appropriate tool to punish the ruling party for service delivery issues.
"Elections are very important and it's not punishment, it's not the stick you use when fighting for things such as water and sewerage that you know will be fixed. We are going for an election where you must elect a government to fix all your problems," he told residents in the Ladysmith area on Saturday, according to eNCA.
The broadcaster reported Ramaphosa as saying that he understood people were frustrated because service delivery was not happening fast enough.
READ: Don't punish ANC at the polls – Ramaphosa asks KZN voters
Vote used as a message
Leon said that every DA vote at the ballot box would be a signal to Ramaphosa that change is needed.
"The opposition will be strengthened by a strong DA vote; the signal you send to Mr Ramaphosa will be one for change in the right direction, back to economic sanity and salvation."
Leon also appealed to the electorate who may like Ramaphosa, but not necessarily the ANC, to rethink their vote before the elections.
He said that the voter cannot send a wrong message with their vote, saying that they like Ramaphosa, but not other leaders in the ANC.
Leon said that while he has regard for the abilities of Ramaphosa, he hasn't seen any reform and that Ramaphosa still belongs to the ANC.
"The single asset they have is him [Ramaphosa]," Leon said speaking about the ANC.
"Take him out of the equation, then what is the ANC? What actually is the ANC? It's filled with chancers, rogues, the corrupt and it's not a party prepared to take the minimal action to interdict the worst elements."