ACDP 'missing the point' of DA ads

The Democratic Alliance has rejected African Christian Democratic Party complaints about the DA’s election radio adverts that urge voters not to waste their vote on one of the smaller parties, saying the ACDP has missed the point.

“The Democratic Alliance is building an alternative to the ANC. Together, we and our partners are set to get 27% to 30% of the vote,” DA chief election campaign spokesperson Douglas Gibson said in a statement.

“Smaller parties such as the ACDP are splitting the opposition vote. That is the reality,” he said.

Earlier, ACDP MP Zwelethu “Mighty” Madasa said the DA was showing its “greed for power by lying to voters about the impact their vote can have”.

“Five short years ago, the DA was in exactly the same position as the ACDP is in now—with seven seats in the National Assembly. We expect significant growth after the election as our support has grown phenomenally since 1999,” he said.

This malicious campaign demonstrates the DA’s disregard for a multiparty democracy, which is enshrined in the Constitution, he said.

DA leader Tony Leon had said he favoured a two-party state, with his party as the “official opposition”.

“This title is one that the DA has given itself, since South Africa’s multiparty system does not favour one single opposition party,” Madasa said.

In his statement, Gibson said a vote for the ACDP further dilutes the strength of opposition to the ANC, because the ACDP “has a history of backing down to the ANC at crucial moments”.

These include the ACDP’s withdrawal from an agreement to be part of the Western Cape government in 1999 because it was not prepared to exclude the ANC, and wanted to remain “neutral”.

It also teamed up with the ANC to get a position on the Judicial Services Commission, because the ANC wanted to exclude the official opposition.

While the ACDP might pick up a little support as a consequence of the collapse of the NNP, the DA has won over the vast majority of opposition voters in South Africa, Gibson said.

He challenged the ACDP to commit itself to keeping the ANC out of power and helping to build an independent alternative to the ANC in every local government and provincial legislature where it is able to do so.

“And for the record, the position of ‘leader of the opposition’ is established in the Constitution, and is not a title the DA has chosen for itself,” Gibson said.—Sapa

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