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By Vhahangwele Nemakonde

Digital Deputy News Editor

ANC KZN offers R100K reward over voice note calling for gogos to be poisoned

The ruling party says the voice note is not from Bheki Mtolo.

The African National Congress (ANC) in KwaZulu-Natal has a reward of R100 000 for information about the origin of a voice note threatening elderly voters in the province.

The ANC lost its majority vote in the national and provincial election for the first time since the dawn of democracy.

Nationally it managed to get 40.18% of the vote, with the Democratic Alliance (DA) getting 21.81%. The uMkhonto weSizwe party in third place with 14.58% of the support.

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The ANC suffered its most brutal defeat in KwaZulu-Natal, where the MK party garnered 45.93% of the support, with the ruling party coming second with only 17.62%.

Since then, a voice note has been circulating on social media, purporting to be from provincial secretary Bheki Mtolo.

The voice note calls for grandmothers who did not vote for the ANC to be poisoned.

“As the ANC, we categorically reject this fake voice note and many more others that are being distributed purporting to be the ANC leaders,” said Mtolo.

“Critically, we wish to alert WhatsApp group users and group administrators that in terms of the Cybercrimes Act of 19 of 2020, it is a criminal offence to use social media to fabricate and publish defamatory content.

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“There will be severe consequences against criminals and individuals who are distributing this voice note.”

The party has offered a reward of R100 000 for information that can lead to the arrest and prosecution of people behind the voice note.

‘People still love ANC’

ANC leaders are still upbeat about the results despite the loss, saying it is not the end of the road.

Provincial spokesperson Mafika Mndebele said South Africans did not vote for the party as a form of protest, not because they love the parties they voted for.

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“Our people have been saying we love the ANC, but there are things that need to be done to change. We need to fight corruption, ensure there is service delivery − all these things became a challenge,” Mndebele told Newzroom Afrika.

“We must self-correct. We must not only talk about his but be seen as doing it. We view this outcome as a protest of our people. They still love the ANC, but something must change.

“Whoever we send to the legislature, it must no longer be business as usual. We must renew the ANC and self-correct and not blame the people. We still believe people love the ANC, but they’re protesting.

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“Even some who got the support campaigned on the message of wanting to correct the ANC. That message resonated with the masses.”

The party is expected to initiate coalition talks on Monday, with the help of former president Thabo Mbeki. The Patriotic Alliance (PA) has confirmed it is meeting with the ruling party today.

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