Sources in the DA have reportedly said that the party’s senior leaders in KwaZulu-Natal are pushing for their national leaders to concede that the controversial election posters in Phoenix send the wrong message to voters about race and that they should be taken down.
This follows after a meeting by the DA’s top leaders in KZN, where the posters declaring “The ANC called you racist. The DA calls you heroes” were discussed on Wednesday. The message was in reference to the murders in Phoenix during the unrest in July.
According to TimesLIVE, DA provincial leader Francois Rogers did not sign off on the posters and apparently only found out about them with the rest of SA.
“The provincial management committee, which would ordinarily sign off on campaign messaging did not know, in fact out of the six of us only Dean [Macpherson] knew hence we had an emergency meeting this morning [Wednesday] to ask him to explain. At the meeting today, Dean said the party has to be realistic, we can afford to lose 50% of black DA voters but we cannot afford to lose 50% of the Indian vote who will vote for the DA – whatever that means,” said an insider who was at the meeting.
Another provincial committee member allegedly said that DA activists were seething with anger over the posters and the furor they had provoked.
“Since no-one in the top leadership knew we also did not know, this whole thing is discouraging because it is erasing our hard work on the ground. I have been on the campaign trail today and that is all people want to talk about, not the message that we are bringing but these bloody posters. We await to see what the party will do because they cannot ignore this,” a PEC member said.
It appears for all intents and purposes that MacPherson took the decision alone and some party members have stated that while the party may not have intended to cause harm, they “should apologize, take the posters down and move on”.
Another DA activist told the media that they wished that the DA had included activists in the decision-making. “Had we at least debated this and lost, we would be able to explain to voters and SA but now we are as confused as everyone and probably angrier than everyone else because we will feel the consequences.”
Sources: Sowetan Live, MSN
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