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DA launches new election ad, EFF marches over SABC 'ban'

Sapa, Devereaux Morkel

Icasa ruled in the SABC's favour over complaints about DA and EFF election adverts - the DA launched a new ad, the EFF will march in protest.

DA members at the launch of the party's election TV campaign in Bekkersdal, unveiled by Mmusi Maimane. (Gallo)

Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Helen Zille and Gauteng premier candidate Mmusi Maimane launched the party's second "Ayisafani" TV advert in Mamelodi outside Pretoria on Monday, while Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) members will march alongside party president Julius Malema to the SABC offices on Tuesday to protest the public broadcaster's "ban" on showing its election advertisement.

"This advert tells the real story of how the DA is growing in South Africa, and why the ANC is so worried about us in this election," said Zille.

"Ayisafani 2: The DA is bigger, stronger, and ready to win!" is scheduled to air on television every day from Tuesday until Sunday, the DA said.

The 45-second advert starts with Maimane in front of a mirror, saying: "So, they tried to silence us, but this is actually what they're afraid of", before opening double doors and segueing into the rest of the advert.

It focuses on job creation and the growth of the DA.

Maimane said the party's original advertisement was "censored" by the SABC and the South African Police Service (SAPS).

He said no other incident proved that their arguments in front of the complaints and compliance committee of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) were valid.

"The DA do not design adverts to our opponents' criticism, we design adverts to speak to the electorate. We wanted to make an offer to the people. I think we've got a fairly strong advert and a positive offer."

On Monday, SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said in terms of advertising regulations, an advert should be submitted 72 hours before it is expected to air.

He said all adverts should be checked and evaluated before they can be aired.

The DA said it expected its ad to air on public broadcaster channels from Tuesday.

In the initial advert, Maimane says "the police are killing our people" as a photo of a police officer firing rubber bullets at two unarmed people is shown. This led to the complaint from the SAPS, which Icasa upheld on Friday night, telling the DA to remove the "offending part" of the advert.

"The election period tends to bring about a lot of volatility. The police should not be seen as a threat to the community," the chairperson of Icasa's complaints and compliance committee, Wandile Tutani, said at the time.

"The offending part of the advert [must] be excised. That is our decision."

The police had submitted that it would incite violence against the SAPS.

The SABC first pulled the advert after it was flighted on April 8 and 9. The public broadcaster said it incited violence.

The second ad, launched on Monday, does not have the clip.

Zille said in Mamelodi that the party was stronger than it had ever been and believed it was the only party that could challenge the governing ANC at a provincial level.

EFF protest
On Saturday, Icasa's complaints and compliance committee ruled in favour of the SABC by upholding the broadcaster's decision not to flight an EFF advert.

"The [committee] ruled that the [advert] may be perceived as condoning or lending support to unlawful acts in that it talks about destroying e-tolls, which would be perceived as damage to property," Icasa spokesperson Paseka Maleka said.

As a result, Malema and the EFF plan to march to the SABC offices to protest against what the party calls the SABC's "ban" on showing its election advertisement.

Spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said they would march to the public broadcaster's offices in Auckland Park at 10am.

Malema said at an election rally in Durban on Saturday that he considered the SABC's actions to be an example of how South Africans were not free to express themselves.

During the Icasa hearing, the SABC's counsel said that the EFF had refused to change the advert.

The ad, mostly in black and white, is titled "Now is the time for economic freedom" and has been posted on YouTube.

The section in contention is a call at the end to "destroy e-tolls physically!".

Kganyago said on Saturday that the SABC rejected the advert because it contravened section 4(12)(b) of Icasa's regulations on party election broadcasts in that it contained words which were likely to provoke or incite unlawful, illegal or criminal acts. – Sapa

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