POLITICS

War Room Chronicles: DA To Take Fight Forward, Wants IEC To Probe ANC

“We are convinced the war room was a violation of the electoral code.”

31/01/2017 08:05 SAST | Updated 31/01/2017 11:27 SAST
(Photo by Gallo Images / Thapelo Maphakela)
African National Congress (ANC) and Democratic Alliance (DA) supporters (Photo by Gallo Images / Thapelo Maphakela)

The Democratic Alliance (DA) will be meeting with the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) to discuss the African National Congress's (ANC) war room.

"We have scheduled a meeting for today (Tuesday) to raise the issue of the war room among others among other things. We are convinced this was a violation of the electoral code which is clear on what parties can and can not do," Mmusi Maimane's spokesperson Mabine Seabe said.

The ANC has been dealing with a public relations nightmare since businessperson Sihle Bolani approached the high court in Johannesburg to compel the organisation to pay her R2 million for work she did before the elections.

She claimed she was part of a R50 million covert operation called the War Room to tweet and retweet messages, driving a smear campaign against the opposition parties. In her affidavit, Bolani said Sisulu and a businessperson, Joseph Nkadimeng, were to provide the funds for the operation.

The operation is said to have involved posters of Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema holding a gun. She said she was approached by Nkadimeng for the project. She said after months of trying to get the party to settle the bill, party general manager Ignatius Jacobs agreed to R1 million, which ultimately wasn't paid. Jacobs, however, said she was not owed money as she had volunteered.

Jacobs has since hit back and instituted a R500,000 lawsuit against Bolani for defamation, arising from an article in the Sunday World, with Jacobs saying the statements were false, defamatory and insinuated impropriety on his part. He has further demanded an apology and a retraction. She has been given 10 days to settle the amount.

The IEC has since indicated that it would wait for the court case to conclude before taking a decision but that has not satisfied the DA. The party wants the organisation to probe the allegations fully and not wait for the court case.

"We have noted that the IEC will wait for the court case but we want a full investigation because a party can't be allowed to contravene our democratic principles," said Seabe.

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