The DA will refer various screenshots of election campaign WhatsApp messages allegedly from the ANC’s Western Cape group to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).
The DA has accused the ANC of distributing disinformation about the party with the intention of affecting the outcomes of elections in Muslim communities. It says the graphics are in violation of section 89(2) of the electoral act which clearly states that “no person may publish any false information with the intention of influencing the outcome or conduct of an election”.
As such, the DA has called for the electoral commission to take urgent steps to determine the origin of the material.
“Should the ANC be responsible for this reprehensible material, it would be clear that they so fearful of the DA’s growth that they are resorting to a smear campaign, using the same undemocratic tactics that they used in Alexandra and other areas where they incited violence and destroyed public property to make these areas ungovernable,” said the DA in a statement.
Dr Faisal Suliman from the SA Muslims Network (Samnet) said this is just another attempt for political parties to sabotage each other and does not really call for this kind of action.
“At the best of times we should take what political parties say with a pinch of salt especially during the election period. Parties will do all they can to sabotage each other and this is what election campaigns are designed for,” he said.
Suliman said the DA should not play the victim as they had similar campaigns to smear the ANCS’s name.
“When Eskom and load shedding became the topic of conversation, the DA were the first to have posters and ads on TV of how corrupt and bad the ANC was and how they (the DA) is the best party to vote for,” he stated.
Suliman said it is going to be hard for the DA to prove to the IEC that they have acted outside the electoral code of conduct.
“Some posters have been exaggerated by the ANC, but some statements are in fact true and it is going to be really interesting for the DA to prove that the ANC is in breach of the electoral act,” he stressed.
“Whether the ANC or any other party is behind the posters doing the rounds on social media is beside the point. The point is no harm is being done to anyone…this is an election campaign and all parties involved will work extremely hard to sabotage each other, which unfortunately is how it works in competitions,” he said.
Asked whether the posters had the potential to sway Muslim voters from voting for the DA, Dr Suliman said Muslims should think critically about the election information they are consuming.
“Muslims or any other eligible voter should not allow these political parties to play with their abilities to think for themselves. We should all vote for a party we feel would do justice to our society, so no matter how many posters or election campaigns are doing the rounds, at the end of the day the decision lies with us.”