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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

DA wants Ramaphosa to be fined and ANC docked 1% of vote over ‘national address’

The DA is not happy about Ramaphosa using the SABC in his national address for "thinly veiled' political campaigning.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) wants President Cyril Ramaphosa to pay a fine and the African National Congress (ANC) to be docked a percentage of the national vote.

This, they claim in court papers, is because Ramaphosa allegedly abused his office for political gain following his recent “national address”.

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Opposition parties have lashed out at Ramaphosa over his address to the nation on Sunday night accusing him of campaigning for the African National Congress (ANC) in a last pitch to voters before the polls on 29 May.

During his family meeting, Ramaphosa highlighted the “achievements” of the sixth administration, including tackling corruption, handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, tackling corruption and gender-based violence and reducing load shedding, among other issues.

Relief sought

The DA approached the Electoral Court over the matter.

In an application, the DA said Ramaphosa’s Presidential address delivered on Sunday violated Section 94 of the Electoral Act 73 of 1998, read with Item 9(2)(e) of the Electoral Code of Conduct; Section 87(1)(g) of the Electoral Act; and Sections 19(2) and (3) of the Constitution.

It asked the court to “direct the first respondent (Ramaphosa) in terms of s 96(2)(b) of the Electoral Act, to pay a fine of R200 000”.

It also called for the ANC’s votes in the national election to be reduced by 1%.

“Any additional or alternative sanction authorised by s 96(2) that this Court considers just and equitable,” the notice of motion read.

The DA also wants Ramaphosa and another respondent that opposes the application, to pay the party’s costs.

ALSO READ: DA hauls Ramaphosa to court for ‘abusing office’ in national address

Punish wrongdoing

In the party’s 36-page founding affidavit, the DA’s Helen Zille said by the time the court was able to adjudicate the dispute, the elections would be over.

Zille emphasised that a court must punish the wrongdoing, seek to undo the impact of the abuse of public power and public funds and deter future wrongdoing.

“It is, of course, impossible to determine with any degree of certainty how many votes the ANC may have gained as a result of Mr Ramaphosa’s abuse of power. The DA submits that a reduction of 1% of the total votes the ANC received would be a fair reduction.

“If the ANC receives 10 000 000 votes, it will lose 100 000 votes. Once the reduction is made, the commission will have to recalculate the number of seats awarded in the National Assembly,” Zille said.

Ramaphosa’s “unlawful conduct”

Zille argued that the purpose of Ramaphosa’s “unlawful conduct” was to increase the number of votes the ANC received.

“Given how close it occurred before the election, it is impossible to unscramble the egg and remedy the unlawfulness by, for example, affording all other parties a similar opportunity. The proper remedy to redress the wrong is to reduce the number of votes.

Zille said section 96(2) of the Electoral Act affords this court a range of powers if it decides that Ramaphosa and the ANC breached the Code or s 87(1)(g).

ALSO READ: ‘No ANC campaign, Ramaphosa had duty to assure nation’ – Madonsela defends president