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Ramaphosa rips into food parcel election ploy

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Food parcels and other state resources should not be used for political campaigning in needy communities during the local government elections‚ says Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

“As a government we believe that state resources should not be used for political interest. We should not be advancing party political interest through state resources because they are there for all people in South Africa‚” Ramaphosa.

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He was responding to a parliamentary question about the use of state resources by government officials during their party campaigning.

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Recently‚ Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found that in Cape Town in December 2009‚ former African National Congress Youth League president Julius Malema distributed South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) food parcels and pledged a R100‚000 SASSA statutory grant to a prominent ANC member‚ Rossie Classe.

She found that the ANCYL organised the event‚ not SASSA nor the former minister of Social Development‚ Edna Molewa‚ as it had been alleged. However‚ Madonsela found that the food parcels were not purchased but sourced by SASSA.

According to the Public Protector‚ although the food parcels were not bought but sourced by the agency‚ the food parcels became state resources and distributing them at a political party event constituted abuse of state resources.

Ramaphosa told MPs “…only recipients who qualify for social relief in terms of our law will receive it and only departmental or SASSA staff will be the ones who distribute it”.

[Source: Times Live]
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