ANC shoots mystery Cape wildfire accusation down in flames

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ANC shoots mystery Cape wildfire accusation down in flames

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\n Aphiwe Deklerk And Aron Hyman | 2017-01-19 15:46:47.0\n \n \n \n \n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n \n\n \n\n\n \n \n

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\n \n \n \n A firefighter battles the raging fire.\n \n \n \n
Image by: Justin Sullivan \n \n \n \n

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\n The fires that have ravaged the Western Cape have turned into a political football after an anonymous recording alleged the ANC was behind the blazes.\n

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The party issued a statement on Thursday saying the “irresponsible” claims in the recording were part of a propaganda campaign by “rightwing agents” trying to stir up fear‚ hatred‚ political instability and uncertainty.

“This is a very worrying trend in the Western Cape and our region especially‚ Langebaan‚” said West Coast ANC spokesman Sammy Claassen.

In the recording‚ an Afrikaans-speaking man alleges that the fires were started by ANC members wearing party T-shirts.

“We just got confirmation that all these fires which are all on farms were set. We got confirmation from the guys who are busy fighting the fires from the helicopters that they are seeing the guys set the farms on fire‚” the man says.

“We all know that there is usually some bigger or darker reason behind these actions.”

The man then asks people who have family and friends who farm in the Du Toit’s Kloof‚ Stellenbosch or Paarl areas to warn them about the fires.

“These fires are set on purpose. That doesn’t mean that because you don’t have a farm that is next to the area that is currently burning that you can relax. These guys are on the move and they are setting the fires on purpose‚” he says.

Claassen has asked the police to investigate the origins of the recording. The ANC had information that it may have been made by a senior official working with “the fire brigade services”‚ he said.

City of Cape Town mayoral committee member for safety JP Smith said: “I’ve also heard the media clip going around but I can’t confirm its validity.”

The city fire chief‚ Ian Schnetler‚ said that he had also been sent the clip.

-TMG Digital/The Times

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