The DA in KZN removed the election posters in Phoenix which had “inadvertently caused offence” said the party on Thursday,
The controversial election posters which were placed together on street poles read: “The ANC called you Racists” and “The DA calls you Heroes”.
DA KZN chairperson and MPL Dean MacPherson said that the posters had been put up as a “sincere” attempt to acknowledge the plight of the people who were left to defend themselves during the unrest in July.
“In my sincere effort to honour the bravery and heroism of law abiding citizens who were left to fend for themselves during the July riots and insurrections, the posters have regretfully caused hurt to some people. I am deeply sorry and apologise for this. As these posters were unsanctioned by the DA leader, party structures and party campaign leadership, I am arranging the removal of these posters today. Sometimes in politics our words may be poorly chosen, but I wish to assure the public, without contradiction, that my intentions are always sincere. My intended message was that in the massive void created by a failing state, unable to secure South Africans’ homes and businesses during the riots, some heroic residents were forced to stand up and do what the police and army were unable to do,” Macpherson said.
He stated that this action had led to allegations of racism by the ANC. “At no point did I, nor the DA, and at no point would I or the DA ever condone or support those who undertook vigilante actions. In fact, I once again condemn those who undertook vigilante actions which cost lives and damage to property,” MacPherson said.
He added that the DA was a party that stood for “non-racialism and it was never my intention to cause any other perception. I remain steadfastly committed to all people in South Africa, united in our diversity.”
Despite the removal of the posters, Jessie Duarte from the ANC has said that they will be reporting the DA to the South African Human Right Commission. Duarte did say that the DA taking down the posters was a good thing.
“Those pictures stayed for a very long time and has caused a lot of damage for people. It has created new anger that had abated already and this is what we must undo. It has given a perception of racism as okay and vigilantism as okay. The message has resonated. It will not go away that easily,” she said.
Duarte accused the DA of promoting racism and criminality. “The conversation we must have with all our communities is how to react when there is a crisis. Yes, there might be people who see themselves as heroes and the DA might be pandering to that but it’s a sentiment that cannot go anywhere,” she said.
Sources: MSN, The South African
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