DA Claims Leaked Recording Implicates the ANC in a Scheme to Use Taxpayer Funds to Win Votes

South African opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, has today announced its intent to file a complaint with the country’s Public Protector, Khulekani Gcaleka, over information obtained from a leaked recording of an African National Congress (ANC) National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting.

What You Need to Know:

In a statement released today, the DA claims it will provide “new and damning evidence confirming that the ruling party intends to use taxpayer money to help it win votes.” 

The statement continues, “In a leaked recording from an ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting held in early April, it is revealed that the party’s top brass, including President Ramaphosa himself, have instructed senior public office bearers to manipulate the public purse to pay for the ANC’s election campaign.

This would be done via a series of public relations exercises and paid media advertisements promoting state projects and governance where the ANC has governed over the last 30 years. Included in this strategy is a directive to tend to targeted service delivery failures days ahead of ANC campaign visits, to create the illusion of state delivery under the ANC.

This desperate exploitation of state collapse, at the very hands of the ANC themselves, to win over voters ahead of a crucial national election is the ultimate form of ANC manipulation to date.”

The statement comes a day after Democratic Alliance MP, Ashor Sarupen, slammed President Ramaphosa over his directive made to the ANC’s top brass to control media narratives in the lead-up to the nation’s general election on May 29th. In the leaked recording, Ramaphosa can be heard saying, “TV stations have no right to be negative towards us… We want more than fair treatment (from the media). There will be a team of comrades who will be watching this space all the time.” 

The Details:

In response, the ANC’s national spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu-Mothsiri, expressed that the “African National Congress has noted the media’s interest in the leaked recording of the ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting discussing the ANC’s 2024 elections campaign. The ANC’s longstanding principle is to refrain from commenting on leaked information because we do not want to dignify this unethical behavior with a response. While the ANC will not be drawn into commenting on statements made by individual leaders during its meetings, the ANC is confident of the impact its elections campaign is making and the positive reception the movement is receiving across the length and breadth of the country. The ANC respects the separation of party and state and has a responsibility to monitor its representatives in government and to intervene where appropriate to ensure that its undertakings and commitments to the citizens are not compromised.”

 

So, What Now?:

Presently, the DA has not released the ‘damning evidence’ they have allegedly obtained. Thus, the audio file cannot be independently verified.

However, the DA’s intent to file a complaint with the public prosecutor is in line with their campaign strategy of ‘determined lawfare’ against the ANC. In the lead-up to the nation’s general election, the DA has utilized the judicial system to access ANC meeting minutes and cadre deployment records.

This strategy has enabled the DA to publicize the ANC’s private dealings.

In mid-February, after a three-year legal battle with the DA, the ANC was ordered by the Constitutional Court to release 11 years of cadre deployment records, meeting minutes, email correspondence, and WhatsApp messages to the DA.

The ANC’s policy of cadre deployment, which, as previously reported and according to the South African Institute of Race Relations, is when a political party sets out to achieve its strategic and ideological goals by spreading its influence [read control] across all spheres of society by placing party activists in positions of power in institutions of the state – which are constitutionally mandated to be impartial and serve society as a whole.

In sum, the policy of cadre deployment sets out to appoint ANC members into Ministerial, Managerial, and Mayoral positions in the public sector based on their status within the party. An example of this is the appointment of Bheki Cele, who is the ANC’s Chief Executive Organ, as Minister of Police.

However, the DA’s attempt to shed light on the ANC’s alleged corruption may have come too late, with the general election just 36 days away.

Bianca Bridger
Bianca Bridger
Bianca Bridger is a Political Science Graduate from the University of Otago, New Zealand. Currently working as an Editor for The ModernInsurgent and writing for Atlas News, her interests include conflict politics, history, yoga and meditation.

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