FF Plus leader Pieter Mulder (centre) says they have formally lodged a complaint with the IEC over a DA SMS and radio ad that claims votes are wasted on smaller parties. (Jenna Etheridge, News24)
Cape Town - The Democratic Alliance’s "very nasty SMS" and radio advert, claiming votes would be wasted on smaller parties has left the Freedom Front Plus in a huff.
FF Plus leader Pieter Mulder on Tuesday said the claims were lies and in breach of the electoral code of conduct.
He referred to a clause on prohibited conduct, which included publishing false or defamatory allegations.
"The DA last week started fighting smaller parties. We all signed that code of conduct and were very friendly at that stage," Mulder said.
The party laid a formal complaint with the Independent Electoral Commission of SA’s (IEC) chief electoral officer on Tuesday morning.
The DA’s federal executive and council chairperson, James Selfe, said the party would respond formally through their attorneys.
"There is nothing wrong with what we are saying," he said.
FF Plus chairperson Pieter Groenewald’s letter to the IEC referred to a DA text message which read: "Only the DA can beat the ANC in Joburg. A vote for a smaller party will split the vote & let the ANC win. Don’t waste your vote. Vote for Change. Vote DA."
Mulder thought it was "very nasty", he told journalists.
In his letter, Groenewald also referred to a radio advert on Radio Sonder Grense, which apparently stated: "Ek het verlede keer vir ‘n klein party gestem en my stem gemors, moenie jou stem verdeel" (I voted for a small party last time and wasted my vote, don’t split your vote).
The party said the electoral system on a local government level was a blend of proportional and ward representation.
Even if a candidate did not win a ward, the votes they received were added to the party’s proportional vote, to determine how many seats they got at municipal level.
Groenewald said the DA was "confusing and misleading" voters and wanted the party to stop its campaign.
Selfe said there was nothing wrong with the campaign.
"This is totally legitimate campaigning which happens to be objectively true, that in the case of Johannesburg, Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay, the DA and the ANC are neck-and-neck.
"A vote for a smaller party will objectively make it easier for the ANC to keep control. It is just a fact."
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