DA contemplates legal action against ANC over 'War Room'

2017-01-24 18:08
James Selfe. (File)

James Selfe. (File) (Tshidi Madia)

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Cape Town – The Democratic Alliance is seeking legal opinion on an affidavit spelling out an apparent covert African National Congress campaign to target opposition parties in the 2016 local government elections.

"It may very well be that it discloses potential civil and criminal charges," DA federal chairperson James Selfe said on Tuesday about the document by public relations expert Sihle Bolani.

READ: ANC 'Black Ops' publicist not rattled by death threats

The publicist made damning claims in an affidavit that the ANC owed her R2.2m for work she had done during a covert campaign aimed at tarnishing the image of opposition parties ahead of the 2016 local government elections.

Bolani signed a R1m settlement agreement with ANC general manager Ignatius Jacobs in early December, but is now demanding the full amount, as she has still not been paid. The agreement, attached to the court papers, is on an ANC letterhead.

Part of her job was to increase a positive narrative around the ruling party in the lead-up to the elections.

READ: Now ANC admits to 'off-books' election campaign

Copyright infringements

The ANC planned to spend R50m on the covert campaign, according to papers Bolani filed in the High Court in Johannesburg.

According to an amaBhungane report published on News24, this included a seemingly independent news site and a chat show, using "influencers" on social media, and planning to print fake opposition party posters.

"It is quite clear that what is going on here is an abuse of a free democratic system," said Selfe.

"We certainly intend to take the matter up with the IEC [Electoral Commission of SA] in the most emphatic way since it is completely against the spirit of democratic elections."

He said if the allegations were true, the ANC had violated the Municipal Electoral Act.

On a civil front, he said lawyers would look at the potential of copyright infringements and abuse of corporate identity.

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  local elections 2016  |  politics 2017

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