National 26.7.2016 10:10 am

ANC accuses DA of cynicism for invoking Mandela

DA leader Mmusi Maimane (left) and Tshwane mayoral candidate Solly Msimanga (right) unveiling the “Honour Madiba’s dream, vote DA” campaign posters outside the Union Buildings perimeter fence in Tshwane. Photo: Jonisayi Maromo / ANA

DA leader Mmusi Maimane (left) and Tshwane mayoral candidate Solly Msimanga (right) unveiling the “Honour Madiba’s dream, vote DA” campaign posters outside the Union Buildings perimeter fence in Tshwane. Photo: Jonisayi Maromo / ANA

The official opposition’s ‘appropriation of Mandela ahead of next week’s local government elections is offensive to his memory and family’.

The ANC has on Tuesday said the DA election campaign’s claim that it was the only party that could deliver on Nelson Mandela’s vision of a non-racial South Africa was a cheap and desperate attempt to win black votes.

“It is a glaring sign that the DA’s attempts to woo the black electorate are floundering and they will stop at nothing to ‘blackwash’ their chequered history as a whites-only party by thrusting a few token blacks into positions of leadership and appropriating even symbols that have always shunned them,” ANC spokesman Zizi Kodwa said.

Kodwa then quoted Mandela as saying of the DA at a Cosatu rally in 2000: “No matter how they cover up by getting a few black stooges, they (the whites) remain the bosses. They remain a white party.”

In Pretoria on Monday, DA leader Mmusi Maimane unveiled campaign posters with the slogan “Honour Madiba’s dream, vote DA” outside the Union Buildings, near the nine-metre-tall bronze statue of South Africa’s first democratically elected president.

Kodwa said the official opposition’s appropriation of Mandela ahead of next week’s local government elections was offensive to the memory and the family of the liberation struggle hero, as well as to the party that he led.

The elections are on Wednesday, August 3, which has been declared a public holiday.

“In a manner typical of the white supremacist party that the DA is, they are dismissive and irreverent of the feelings of Madiba’s family and even his own words in the latter years of his life that: ‘I will join the nearest branch of the ANC in heaven. If I do not find one, I will launch my own ANC branch’,” said Kodwa.

“The DA continues what their forebears could not finish – continued attempts to strip Madiba and his family of their sense of dignity and abusing them to further their own agenda.

“It is insensitive to Madiba’s memory, his family, his organisation, the ANC, and the millions of South Africans who suffered at the hands of the white apartheid regime for Comrade Madiba’s image to today be used as a tool to advance those who represent all that which he fought against – the protection of white privilege and racism.”

– African News Agency (ANA)

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