DA accuses Joburg mayor of abusing state funds

2016-07-08 20:32

Johannesburg - The Democratic Alliance has laid a complaint with the Independent Electoral Commission against Johannesburg Mayor Parks Tau, claiming that he is using state funds for his election campaign.

In a statement released on Friday, the DA claimed Tau’s radio advertisement was paid for by the City of Johannesburg.

"Tau’s administration had spent over R15m on newspaper adverts in April, May and July, all to promote Tau and his administration ahead of the local elections," DA mayoral candidate Herman Mashaba said.

Mashaba claimed that Tau had now gone a step further by placing an advertisement which lists his awards.

Mashaba said he has also written to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, asking for an investigation to "unjustifiable exercise of power under the Public Protectors Act".

‘Abuses of power’

IEC spokesperson Kate Bapela confirmed that their Gauteng office had received the complaint.

"The complaint would be dealt with by the commissioners of the IEC," Bapela said.

Bapela said the commission would make a decision and directly respond to the DA.

Mashaba claimed Tau’s other "abuses of power" included an enormous billboard on the M2 motorway, which he estimated had cost R20 000 to produce and R40 000 for the rented space.

"It falls to the IEC to ensure the freedom and fairness of the 2016 elections are preserved by holding Mayor Tau and the ANC to the Electoral Code of Conduct," he said.

Tau's spokesperson Phindile Chauke said the City of Johannesburg was merely informing residents on the status of service delivery.

Chauke said the City had a budget geared for communications and marketing and that spending was "still within this budget".

"The DA’s allegations are a mere desperate and very poor attempt to downplay the City’s achievements in the past five years and to discredit the Johannesburg leadership - under Mayor Tau - for votes, since we are in an election season," Chauke said.

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