Cape Town – The ANC in the province and the DA are in a heated spat over the City’s over-recovery on water tariffs, which has led to a complaint with the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC).
The DA said the ANC was spreading false information on the over recovery, while the ANC was accusing the DA of “running scared” and “trying to muzzle” them after the DA lodged a complaint over an alleged breach of the Electoral Act.
ANC provincial elections head Ebrahim Rasool said that the complaint filed against him was for comments he had made about the R1billion profit allegedly made by the City of Cape Town because of the excessively high water tariffs imposed during the drought.
“This complaint to the IEC confirms to us that the DA is running scared of our class action against high water tariffs.
“They are scared the campaign is resonating with people.
“So much so that people are signing up in their thousands. The DA is trying to muzzle us.
“We have responded that what I have said constitutes fair comment, much in the same way as Alan Winde does when he claims in a debate they have created 500000 jobs, or when there is load-shedding and the DA says the ANC has failed,” he said.
DA spokesperson Mabine Seabe confirmed that the complaint was lodged on March 24. Seabe said the party wanted the IEC to act in terms of the IEC code of conduct, which prohibited publishing of false information about other candidates or parties.
“The ANC, we believe, is in violation of this clause. Should the IEC find against the ANC, the ANC may face a number of sanctions, including having their party registration cancelled.
“As the DA, we are committed to working for the people, and will not be derailed by liars and looters in the ANC,” said Seabe.
According to an attorney’s letter addressed to the IEC, the DA alleged that the Rasool made false statements which were defamatory to the DA. Some of them highlighted in the lawyers’ letters were quotes taken from a Cape Argus article in which Rasool put it as a fact that the DA made a profit of R1bn on the water bills.
“The factual statement made that the DA received R1bn is not only false and defamatory but equally misleading with the intention to impress on the reader that the DA is corrupt and steals municipal funds for own gain,” the papers read.
In response, Rasool said the statements clearly referred to the City which was run by the DA. “It is our view that the DA is seeking to distance themselves from the stance adopted by their elected officials within the City
“The criticism levelled at the DA, which leads the administration of the City, is warranted and draws much-needed attention to this abusive practice making Cape Town too expensive for the majority of its citizens.”