Opposition parties want Ramaphosa, ANC punished over Sunday address

The Democratic Alliance (DA) and uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) Party have taken aim at President Cyril Ramaphosa over his public address on Sunday, saying he misused his office as head of state to unduly benefit the ANC, the party he leads.

On Sunday, days before the 29 May election day, the Presidency released a statement, without an agenda, saying Ramphosa would address South Africans.

In the address on Sunday evening, Ramaphosa went on to wax lyrical about the ANC-led government’s achievements over the previous five years, making specific mention of:

  • “Several state capture and corruption cases have been brought to court and billions of rands in stolen funds have been recovered
  • Government’s social and economic welfare initiatives during the Covid-19 era, such as the Social Relief of Distress Grant and the Unemployment Insurance Fund scheme.
  • Health initiatives such as “administering more than 39 million Covid vaccine doses”

Ramaphosa also highlighted many of his regime’s economic, disaster recovery and infrastructure initiatives.

“Our economy has returned to pre-Covid levels and we have recovered the jobs lost to the pandemic. Through a concerted and focused effort, we achieved a sustained reduction in the severity of load shedding.

“Working with financial institutions, development agencies, business and professional associations, we revitalised investment in infrastructure. The value of projects currently in construction is over R230 billion, including energy, water infrastructure and rural roads projects,” said Ramaphosa, speaking from the Union Buildings in Tshwane.

However, as expected, political parties have taken exception with Ramaphosa “campaigning” using state resources, days before the general elections, and both parties have approached the Electoral Court, accusing him of violating specific sections of the Electoral Act.

DA wants Electoral Court to fine Ramaphosa

The DA wants the Electoral Court to declare that Ramaphosa’s “national address on 26 May 2024 violated” specific sections of the Electoral Code of Conduct and the country’s Constitution.

The DA wants Ramaphosa to be personally fined R200,000 by the court and also wants the ANC to be docked 1% of their national votes.

MK Party wants him jailed

MK Party on Tuesday also announced that it had urgently approached the Electoral Court, saying that Ramaphosa’s address was a “blatant violation of the Electoral Code of Conduct, which prohibits any candidate or party from abusing a position of power to influence the outcome of elections”.

As punishment, the MK Party wants the court to cancel the ANC’s registration as a political party and has also asked that Ramaphosa face criminal charges.

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