ANC accuses DA of 'bread for votes'

2016-07-30 16:58
The ANC accused the DA of delivering bread for votes in the Witzenberg Municipality (Supplied).

Cape Town - The ANC in the Witzenberg municipality in the Western Cape accused the DA of running a "bread for votes" campaign and has vowed to  complain to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) about it.

"It is an out-and-out violation of the electoral code because you are not supposed to be giving out gifts," ANC candidate for the  municipality in the province's fruit and wine belt, John Schuurman said on Saturday.

He said the Western Cape government, which is led by the DA, was opening an e-learning centre and play park in Op-Die-Berg on Friday. But on the sidelines the DA was handing out loaves of bread from a DA-branded vehicle, which he considered out of line.

In the spirit of keeping the elections peaceful he opted to not confront them on the spot, but decided to approach the IEC and complain instead.

"We must protect the election," said Schuurman, an ANC proportional representation candidate.

DA constituency representative for Witzenberg James Vos denied the "votes for bread" charge, saying it was part of a weekly food programme the party funded and ran for needy facilities in the region.

"We do it for the right reasons," he said.

Vos said the DA office usually conducted its food programme on Mondays, offering soup and other meals.

But with voting starting for special voters on Monday, they opted to push it forward to Friday, to avoid being accused of bribing people with food.

"They rely on the food we give to them," said Vos.

"They [the ANC] are the ones who hand out food parcels. I have seen it in previous elections," he said.

Nobody was in DA-branded clothing or a DA-branded vehicle at the official handover, on specific instruction from himself, he said.

He charged that the ANC disrupted the handover by arriving in their party T-shirts and singing "war songs" which frightened the children.

An ANC councillor also said a prayer at the function in which he thanked the ANC for the municipality's gains, he added.

Last year the DA and its coalition partners in the council submitted a motion of no-confidence in Witzenberg mayor Jacques Klazen from the Democratic Christian Party.

Councillor Barnito Klaasen was elected the new mayor and is contesting for another term.

The DA got 47.5% of the votes for the municipality in 2011, compared with the ANC's 36.84%. The ANC's mayoral candidate is Joyce Phungula.

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