Pretoria - The ANC in Tshwane has described the move by the DA to lay charges against the City of Tshwane over the cancelled contract for PEU smart meters as intimidation and a cheap attempt to score political points. "The ANC Tshwane Region finds the DA's latest ploy of laying fraud charges against the Executive Mayor of the City of Tshwane and the City Manager absurd and short of intimidation building up towards the local government elections next year," said spokesperson Teboho Joala in a statement. It went on to say that it was "clear political opportunism" as the DA knew the action "will not amount to anything, but unduly keep them in the media space"."They are making wild and untrue allegations to divert attention from the sterling job done by the city under the leadership of the two leaders. This action is nothing but an electioneering tactic aimed at popularising Solly Msimanga's campaign."Msimanga laid the charges on Monday. He said the decision to lay charges followed unsuccessful attempts to approach Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene and Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Pravin Gordhan to initiate a forensic investigation into the matter."We have, therefore, taken the next logical step of laying charges of fraud, perjury, contravention of the Municipal Finance Management Act and misleading the City of Tshwane municipal council against the mayor, municipal manager and the directors of PEU Capital Partners [PEU] and Total Utility Management Services [TUMS], as well as any other parties who may have been involved in or unduly benefitted from this contract," Msimanga said. Police spokesperson Constable Tumisang Moloto confirmed that the case was opened.Msimanga said the PEU "smart-meter" contract had cost the city an estimated R170m in the 2013/14 financial year. He said the city paid PEU a further R1bn during the 2014/15 financial year while in the current financial year, the city has already paid approximately R250m to this company – despite the contract having been "terminated" in June 2015."This is in addition to the R400m lost when the City’s own automated meter reading infrastructure, which was barely a year old, was scrapped in favour of the PEU contract. The total amount lost by the city to date on this contract is R1.84bn, for just more than 12 000 meters of the 800 000 that should have been installed," he said.Joala said the city had clarified the matter previously.