Election observers from religious and civil society groups are calling on political parties in the Western Cape to “tone down their campaign rhetoric”. Dr Thabo Makgoba, who chairs the Electoral Code of Conduct Observer Commission (ECCOC), also warned that “character assassination is as devastating as physical violence.”

Dr Makgoba says that the appeal is to all political players to exercise their right to campaign, but to not forget the greater task, which is to make South Africa work.

“If they assassinate themselves at the moment in terms of character, that will be devastating post-election. So it’s not about the 8th of May only, but about building the country.”

Dr Makgobo also says that the conduct of the African National Congress (ANC) and Democratic Alliance (DA) with regards to service delivery protests across the country is not encouraging to voters that want to pursue the values of decency and respect.

The DA accused the ANC of sabotage and fuelling protests in DA led administrations.

“We have differed as South Africans in the past and we have dealt with the difference. I am sure that both parties are mature and they’ve got mature people; let them sit around the table and let them talk.”