DA member of parliament Ian Ollis has taken to social media to warn the public against fake Twitter accounts that are trying to mischaracterise DA leaders such as Helen Zille, Mmusi Maimane and Lindiwe Mazibuko.
On Tuesday morning, on his personal Facebook account, Ollis wrote: “Hi all. There are a number of fake tweets purporting to come from Helen Zille, Lindiwe Mazibuko and Mmusi Maimane claiming that the DA is racist, that the ANC is great, etc. They have actually recreated the Twitter profiles with relevant photos, etc. Our enemies are clearly desperate. Please don’t be taken in by ANC people on social media posting these fake tweets!”
He also shared the warning on Twitter.
There are a number of fake tweets purporting to come frm Helen Zille, Lindi Mazibuko & Mmusi Maimane doing the rounds, created by enemies!
— Ian Ollis (@ianollis) July 26, 2016
The Citizen did some digging and found a few examples of what Ollis may have been referring to. One features the DA’s former leader of the opposition in parliament, Mazibuko, calling the DA “the most racist party in the recent history of our democracy. Blacks in the DA have zero power.”
She responded by asking followers to ignore the bogus messages:
Another saw Zille apparently thinking the ANC has done “exceptionally well”.
— … (@TheeDuma) July 25, 2016
The ANC has for many years accused the DA of being obsessed with criticising the ruling party and not having policy proposals of its own, or the ability to run government.
Now, however, its president, Jacob Zuma, has been fixated on the opposition party in his campaign speeches, calling the DA “snakes” and going all out to create the impression that they are the new incarnation of the apartheid government by calling them the “offspring of the National Party”.
ALSO READ: Snakes? What’s next, Zuma? Cockroaches?
There has been strong race-based campaigning in this election, with the ANC maintaining the line that the DA is the party of white privilege and that its leader, Maimane, is a puppet serving white interests.
Maimane responded by comparing Zuma to apartheid leaders HF Verwoerd and PW Botha, in the sense that Zuma was supposedly in favour of segregating the races.
Now, however, with polls suggesting that the race to win key metros Nelson Mandela Bay, Tshwane and Joburg may be favouring the DA, the ANC is showing some DA fixation of its own.
On Thursday, the ruling party paraded what it claimed were eight former farm workers who had allegedly worked on Mandela Bay mayoral candidate Athol Trollip’s farm. Many of them spoke emotionally of ill-treatment at the hands of Trollip and his family in the Eastern Cape. At a press conference the next day, however, an equally emotional Trollip denied the claims, saying it was part of a concerted ANC campaign against him and the DA. He claimed to have documentary evidence, which he showed journalists, that some of the people had never worked for him, and that he had paid them far better than claimed.
ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa hit back, saying Trollip was even worse than he thought, since he apparently could not even remember the black people he had employed.
It is not known if the bogus tweets campaign is something merely concocted by ANC members personally.