DA sent our voters away, ANC claims

Cape Town - A Mitchell’s Plain African National Congress candidate alleges that Democratic Alliance party agents redirected voters from Lost City, Tafelsig, who showed disinterest in voting for the blue party on Wednesday.

Sulyman Stellenboom, who contested Ward 82, said on Thursday he was outraged by the alleged incident, which ANC party agents and supporters in the area at the time reported to him.

ANC PR candidate Nigel Willliams said he witnessed the incidents around 08:00 on Wednesday morning as registered voters walked toward the polling station at Huguenot Primary.

“They were approaching people and if they appeared to not be interested in voting for the DA, they lie and tell people that they should be voting at the Thusong Centre, which is a distance away,” he said.

The voters apparently told party agents at the Thusong Centre that the DA had sent them there. Their names were not on the voting station’s list.

“They are hoping that the people will get fed-up and decide not to vote at all,” Williams insisted.

Complaints

Stellenboom said he had informed the Western Cape ANC of the incident.

By 14:00 on Thursday, the party had not yet handed in a complaint on the matter to the IEC, spokesperson Trevor Davids said.

DA ward candidate Sheval Arendse denied that his agents would interfere in the voting process.

“They wouldn’t do that. No one has come to me to complain that this was done to them,” he said.

Also on Wednesday morning, Williams said he laid a complaint with the presiding officer at the Huguenot Primary voting station after DA members handed out T-shirts within the voting station’s boundaries.

“They were told this was illegal and the police had to remove them.”

ANC general secretary Faiez Jacobs said a number of complaints were lodged against the DA, including those who “intimidated and prevented” people from voting.

“In Simon’s Town, DA supporters interfered with voters. In Stellenbosch Ward 3, ANC tables were taken away by DA people and the road closed for our volunteers,” Jacobs said.

"The undemocratic action by the DA is reprehensible. It cannot be tolerated in our democracy that a party commits by signing a code of conduct, but fails to be bound by it or allows supporters to get away with such actions.

“Political parties must take responsibility for their people and their agents should assist at these points."

The Western Cape DA’s Cameron Arendse said he was not aware of any of the alleged incidents.

Western Cape IEC head Courtney Sampson on Wednesday night said some 25 complaints had been received in the province. Most of them were related to interactions between parties. All of the complaints had since been resolved, he said.

- Find everything you need to know about the 2016 Local Government Elections at our News24 Elections site, including the latest news and detailed, interactive maps for how South Africa has voted over the past 3 elections, or download the app for iOS and Android.

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