Opposition parties seek legal advice on ANC “War Room” allegations
The Democratic Alliance and the Economic Freedom Fighter are considering what legal action to take after allegations that the ruling ANC was planning a covert election campaign to discredit them in August last year. Johannesburg publicist Sihle Bolani says the ANC planned to spend R50-million on a covert campaign targeting opposition parties in last year’s local government elections.
According to court papers filed in the Johannesburg High Court, a covert team, initially known as the War Room, intended to “disempower DA and EFF campaigns”.
The War Room also set up a pro-ANC agenda using a range of media, without revealing the party’s hand. This campaign was also to use social media including paid Twitter accounts to manipulate voter sentiment. As part of the campaign, the War Room would also print fake opposition party posters in its campaign.
Bolani took her matter to the courts claiming she is owed R2.2-million for work done as part of the campaign.
In papers submitted to court Bolani alleges that “The Media Advisory Team” as the group was to be known, was led by activist Shaka Sisulu. ANC-linked businessman Joseph Nkadimeng was to look for private donors to fund the campaign.
Things turned sour when Bolani invoiced the ruling party for the work that she had done even though the campaign never really materialised.
The ANC reacted by saying they had no contract with Bolani and also denied claims of “The War Room ” What they cannot explain is how the party’s general manager Ignatius Jacobs signed off a R100.000 payment to Bolani.
The ANC says it will defend itself in court.
EFF Spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi posted this tweet of a poster that was produced over the election period
— Mbuyiseni Ndlozi (@MbuyiseniNdlozi) January 24, 2017
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