Thanks to a cyber squatter with a sense of humour, anyone who types in the domain www.ancyl.co.za when searching online for the ANC Youth League will find their computer opening up on the DA Youth’s official page.
The owner of the ancyl.co.za domain, Cape Town based photographer and part-time cyber squatter Ralph Higgo, said he bought the domain for a R50 annual fee two years ago.
The administrator of a domain can choose to redirect viewers to any other existing site should they so choose, and Higgo chose to direct prospective ANC Youth League viewers to the DA Youth.
He said he did so to make a point and to “possibly just piss some people off”.
He considers it his way of trying to make a slight difference in the South African political landscape and receives no monetary gain from the site.
“The ANCYL wastes so much money, there so much corruption, it’s just my way of saying f*ck you.”
“I love my country but there’s so much wrong with it, we all need to do what we can.”
Higgo said he did email the ANC Youth League offering them the domain but he never heard back from them.
“The DA has never called me either.”
He said he is “not really” a DA supporter but would choose them above the ANC.
“If the ANCYL did ask me for it I’d consider selling it to them and request they pay the money to a charity, or maybe to the DA.”
He said he had bought up “a lot” of domains, some of which he’d sold.
He pointed out that www.anc.co.za was not owned by the ANC but was registered by Africa Network Computers with a postal address in Tokai, Cape Town. A search on the South African domain registry site www.whois.co.za revealed this to be true.
Questions sent to the email address listed on the registration were returned as undeliverable. There were no other contact details.
DA Youth Federal Media and Publicity Chair Reagan Allen said the DA Youth was aware of the matter after someone had alerted them “two or three weeks ago” and had done some research to discover that the ancyl.co.za domain was registered in the name of Ralph Higgo.
“We have no connection to the registration of the domain,” he said.
“We wouldn’t stoop to the level of creating a domain to people unwittingly to our site.
Also, he said the DA would not want to risk alienating anyone who might they were responsible for rerouting the domain.
Allen said they would get in touch with Higgo.
Replying via SMS, ANC Youth League spokesperson Khusela Khawe said they were aware of the domain routing.
“The DA is looking for relevance, appeal and popularity by aligning themselves to the only leader of South Africa youth. We sympathise with them,” he said.
When asked if the ANC Youth League was not considering offering to purchase the ancyl.co.za domain, he said:
“We have no further comment on this matter. We are aware of the channels available to us, we will deal with it when we deem it necessary, we have no problem with the DA attempting to mimic us. They need all the help they can get.” - Steve Kretzmann