In the latest uproar, the ANC yesterday accused the DA of opportunism after DA leader and Western Cape Premier Helen Zille’s contention that her party practiced Mandela’s values.
The two parties have been engaged in a bitter public spat for a while over their legacies in the struggle against apartheid.
ANC spokesperson Kusela Sangoni-Khawe hit back saying: “It is extreme opportunism for the DA to try and claim the legacy of Tata Nelson Mandela.
“Tata was the product of the ANC and the values that he espoused were the values of the ANC.”
Zille said in a speech in commemoration of Mandela on Wednesday night that the more than 12 million people who voted for the ANC in 1994 did so because the party symbolised the values espoused by Mandela.
“How could a party grounded in these values not provide the freedom they, and their children, could use to transform their lives?” Zille asked.
“If we are honest, we will have to admit that we are falling increasingly short on every one of the values that make up Mandela’s legacy.”
She said that, for many South Africans, dignity was still a distant dream.
“Dignity is destroyed by corrupt rulers who curtail people’s freedom to serve themselves,” said Zille.
“Like spending a trillion rand of public money on nuclear power stations that we cannot afford and don’t need.”
Zille said the money could be better spent investing in sectors of the economy that would create jobs and energy security.
She said the failure of values-based and vision-led leadership was arguably the greatest betrayal of Mandela’s legacy.
Zille condemned any act of racism, saying it was not confined to a single group, city or province.
“We must face the truth: there is still deep racism and no shortage of racists in our country,” Zille said.
“We unequivocally condemn any act of racism wherever it occurs, and because I am premier of the Western Cape, I particularly condemn such despicable acts that occur in this province.
“Each one of them is a violation of the memory of Nelson Mandela.”