The ANC has laid an official complaint with the Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) regarding the DA's controversial election billboard in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, EWN reported on Friday.
The DA on Wednesday unveiled a campaign billboard listing the names of the victims of the Marikana massacre and the Life Esidimeni tragedy as well as those of children who have died in pit toilets around the country. The party claimed that the ANC was the cause of these deaths and also blamed the party for crime-related deaths in South Africa, News24 reported.
"The ANC is concerned that the conduct of the DA flies in the face of the electoral code of conduct as it is nothing short of spreading deliberate lies about the ANC. The ANC will take up the matter in the appropriate forums provided for in the country's electoral laws," acting ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said in a statement on Wednesday.
On Thursday, relatives of the Life Esidimeni victims claimed responsibility for damaging and tearing down the DA's billboard.
"We are still mourning for them, we will never speak to them again, and now their names are out there," a relative who did not want to be named told News24.
"What's done is done."
The man said none of the family members were consulted by the DA prior to having the billboard erected.
"This is what angers us," he said.
The IEC's chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo told EWN that the matter of the billboard was before its national party liaison committee after the ANC laid a complaint.
"We gave the national party liaison committee an opportunity to go and reflect on the matter. In particular, the likely impact of this type of campaigning on the climate in which the election is going to be happening," Mamabolo told EWN.
He reportedly said that, while the IEC encouraged robust electioneering, parties should keep their campaigns clean.
"But obviously, the families are aggrieved about it."
"It's quite clear that this is a criminal act," DA spokesperson Solly Malatsi told News24 on Thursday, referring to the vandalism of the billboard.
"We will be engaging with the relevant authorities for the law to take its course," Malatsi said.
Reacting to the ANC's complaint at the IEC, Malatsi said the governing party could "bring it on".
"We will engage [the ANC] robustly at the electoral court if needs be," Malatsi told News24.