DA rejects ANC’s child labour claims

Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille (C), accompanied by the party's parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane (L) and DA MPs stage a protest in front of Parliament in Cape Town on Thursday, 20 November 2014. Picture: Nardus Engelbrecht / SAPA

The DA on Wednesday dismissed allegations by the Western Cape ANC that it paid children to campaign in a by-election in Ceres.

Head of the Democratic Alliance constituency in Witzenberg, under which Ceres falls, James Vos, said in a statement: “As usual the ANC’s accusations are utter rubbish”.

The African National Congress in the province said in a statement that it condemned the DA’s use of child labour for physical and party political work. It claimed the rival party paid children as young as eight years old R200 to stay away from school on Tuesday.

ANC provincial leader Marius Fransman said in a statement: “These children should have been in school”.

The ANC would approach the department of basic education to investigate, and if any laws were broken charges should be laid against the DA.

Vos denied the allegations.

“The DA most definitely did not pay any child to campaign for us nor will we ever do so… There is no proof whatsoever that the DA paid children to ‘stay out of school’.”

He said party T-shirts were distributed in the area and many children wore them on the day of the by-election.

The ANC sent a photograph in support of its claim, with the caption: “A boy of eight carries placard boards and other children of school-going age out of school yesterday in Ceres”.

Vos said he saw the photograph being taken, and said it was not taken during school hours.

“It is a completely baseless allegation. However, the allegation is not surprising as it has become a tactic of the ANC in the Western Cape to make wild and untrue accusations and allegations whenever they feel threatened.”



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