The Democratic Alliance has instructed their attorneys Minde Shapiro Smith to threaten the AL JAMA-Community Party with legal action because of a pamphlet distributed by AL JAMA-AH that links the DA’s R100 million rand election budget to known ZIONIST Nathan Kirsch. The letter directed at AL JAMA-AH’s CEO Imraahn Ismail-Mukaddam threatens to use the Electoral Act 73 of 1998 (,,the Act”), the Electoral Commission Act 51 of 1996 and the Electoral Code of conduct as stipulated in S99 of the Act and Schedule 2 to the Act.
In terms of the letter “the DA hereby demand that you remove and/or desist from distributing all of these posters/pamphlets which constitute a gross violation of the Electoral Legislation and Regulations by no later than 2:00pm on Monday, 31 March2014, failing which we will immediately take the appropriate action and obtain the appropriate relief which relief will include a punitive cost order against you.”
The threatening tone of the letter was designed to intimidate us and for the sake of ensuring that AL JAMA-AH a party that pursues interest of marginalised constituencies contest the elections we withdrew the offending pamphlet as demanded without admitting any liability.
Our legal representatives responded with some pertinent questions that would clarify whether our pamphlet was defamatory or not. These questions were the following.
i) Did your client ( The DA ) propose that the “Star of David” incorporate the logo of the City of Cape Town.
ii) Does your client approve or condemn the host of UN resolutions that Israel was found to have contravened in relation to Palestine and the Palestinians.
iii) Does your client support or condemn the “Apartheid Wall” in Wesbank and does your client agree that the said wall facilitates Apartheid.
iv) Does your client admit that the practice of “Apartheid” is a crime against humanity.
v) Does your client agree that those who support financially or otherwise, people who oppress others are oppressors themselves?
vi) Does your client receive funding from people who support Israel’s continued occupation of Palestine.
vii) Did your party ever receive funding from Mr. Nathan Kirsh.
viii) Did Glyniss Breytenbach receive funding from Mr. Nathan Kirsh.
It is our contention that depending how the Democratic Alliance responds to these questions we will have grounds to lay a charge of intimidation at the Electoral Court. AL JAMA-AH has also be lodged complaints against the DA for alleging in a radio add that a vote for smaller parties is a waste as smaller parties will align themselves to the ANC. This claim is defamatory and without any substance and a clear violation of the Electoral Code of Conduct.
The AL JAMA-AH COMMUNITY PARTY will not be bullied by “questionably” funded big parties and will definitely not be silenced on the issue of Palestine which has become an election issue.
It is our position that whoever funds a political party has a direct influence in the policy position that party will take and it is therefore imperative for parties to disclose who their substantial donors are in order for voters to make informed and conscious decisions when voting .
For more than a decade, civil society has called for the introduction of legislation that would regulate political party funding. Political parties and Parliament have ignored these repeated requests for action. There must be transparency and accountability in the financial operations of political parties.
THE AL JAMA-AH COMMUNITY PARTY WILL LODGE A PROMOTION OF ACCESS TO INFORMATION ACT AND PROTECTED DISCLOSURES ACT, APPLICATION. WE NEED TO KNOW WHO IS FUNDING OUR POLITICAL PARTIES AND BY HOW MUCH.
THE FUNDEMENTAL QUESTION REMAINS IS OUR DEMOCRACY BEING COMPROMISED BY THE AGENDAS OF DONORS AND FUNDERS?
We are currently exploring partnerships with various Civil Society organisations that are also pursuing transparency in election funding on a way forward. We believe that we do have sufficient grounds for a Constitutional Court challenge because of Parliaments failure to implement appropriate legislation which was recommended as part of a judgement in a previous application by IDASA in 2005 that also sought transparency in election and campaign funding.
AL JAMA-AH supports the initiative and the position of the newly established MY VOTE COUNTS campaign especially the following statement issued by them “The culture of financial secrecy allows political party campaign promises to be undercut by the hidden hands of financially influential individuals, corporations or foreign governments. Party funding scandals (Arms Deal, Oilgate, Guptagate to name a few) cannot continue. The campaign for party funding reform is a key site in the struggle for an open, accountable and democratic South Africa!”
Please find attached correspondence from our attorneys to the Democratic Alliance.