What we know about the ANC's alleged war room

What we know about the ANC's alleged war room

A political storm has broken out over allegations that the ANC conducted a covert operation aimed at discrediting opposition parties ahead of the 2016 Local Government Election.

ANC NEC Top Table
File photo: Maryke Vermaak

According to court papers filed by Sihle Bolani, a public relations strategist who says she worked on the covert campaign, the ANC owes her R2.2 million for her work.


Her urgent application in the South Gauteng High Court was dismissed yesterday, with the court saying the application is not urgent. 


Sihle reportedly said the ANC planned to spend R50 million on the campaign to discredit the EFF and the DA through several media platforms, including social media and fake election posters.


According to reports, a fake EFF poster showing Julius Malema holding an AK-47 above the words 'Vote EFF, Take Up Arms and Fight', was one of the posters printed.


Here are the developments following the allegations:


ANC denies covert campaign


The ANC's Zizi Kodwa says the ANC rejects any allegation that the organisation owes any money to any company purporting to run such a campaign.


"The ANC once again reiterates that Ms Sihle Bolani, Messrs Joseph Nkadimeng and Shaka Sisulu et al were not contracted or mandated by the ANC or any of its structures tasked with the communications work of the organisation in the 2016 Local Government Election. Their activities were not sanctioned by the ANC and consequently, we distance ourselves against any insinuation that any such campaign was known to or approved by the African National Congress," says Kodwa.


ANC official confirms campaign


News24 reported that ANC confirmed in court papers that Bolani was part of campaign team in last year's municipal elections.


ANC general manager Ignatius Jacobs said a R1 million settlement agreement was signed with Bolani after she approached the organisation over the money she was owed.


Jacobs, however, said the R50 million to fund the campaign never materialised.

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EFF planning legal action


The EFF says it is considering its legal options following Bolani's allegations.


Party spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi says they removed fake posters during the elections in and around the suburbs of Sandton.


"We didn't know by who and that is why we never laid a complaint during the election against anybody and only removed them," says Ndlozi.


DA considering legal action


The DA says it has referred the matter to its legal counsel who have been asked to consider the case towards both civil and criminal action.


"The claims regarding fake opposition posters and the establishment of fake news agencies and television shows is an extreme abuse of democratic processes," says the DA's James Selfe.


ANC advisor also considering legal action


Communication strategist and ANC advisor in Gauteng, Kay Sexwale, says she was in no way involved in the campaign.


Sexwale says yesterday's court application was the first she's heard of it.


"I am considering legal action against a guy on Twitter who started this whole thing and implicated me," says Sexwale.


IEC looking into the matter


The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) says it is looking in to the allegations.


Spokesperson Kate Bapela says they have no further comment at this stage.

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