Daniel Friedman
2 minute read
26 Apr 2019
2:11 pm

DA unveils new election billboard using Mandela’s name

Daniel Friedman

The party is once again laying claim to be the true carriers of the iconic former president's 'vision'.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane speaks at the unveiling of a new billboard that sees the party evoke the memory of former ANC and state president Nelson Mandela. Picture: Twitter (@Our_DA)

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has unveiled a new billboard claiming a vote for the party would “Honour Mandela’s vision to build One South Africa for All”.

Speaking at the billboard’s unveiling, DA leader Mmusi Maimane relayed “Madiba’s dream of a united non-racial South Africa”, according to the party’s official Twitter account.

“Nelson Mandela knew, better than anyone, the dangers in splintering our society and turning groups of people against each other,” Maimane said.

“He knew that our democratic project depended entirely on forging a new national identity as one unified people,” he continued.

“Nelson Mandela knew that socially and economically we were doomed if we retreated back into the laagers of racial and cultural identity from which we came.

READ MORE: Maimane: We are Mandela’s party, the polls are wrong and without us SA will fall

“For decades of apartheid and for centuries of colonial rule, this is what allowed people to be oppressed and exploited. By telling people we’re different and that you need to stick with ‘your own’, the unjust system of apartheid was perpetuated.

“Our future, as a nation, has to be together. Our strength lies in our diversity, our best bet at unseating the corrupt ANC that has plunged us into this crisis through 25 years of looting and broken promises, is by uniting around a shared vision.

“We need to fight for a truly non-racial SA that belongs to all of us. And this has to go beyond reconciliation – it has to include meaningful redress. If our aim is to build an inclusive SA, then it is crucial that we address past injustices.

“Madiba inspired the hope of non-racial South Africa. The solutions to our problems lies across all races in our country, and we can work together to advance that.”

The party’s claims to being the true bearers of Mandela’s torch – more so than the governing ANC, which the former president led and remained a member of throughout his life – are not new.

In July last year, Maimane delivered an address at a media briefing following a two-day sitting of the party’s federal council in which he argued that the “DA is the only party which honours the legacy of Madiba by putting all the South African people first”. The address can be read here.

More recently, in December last year, the DA leader repeated his assertion that only his party acted in accordance with the vision of Mandela.

The party also used both Mandela’s name and voice in campaign material ahead of the 2016 municipal elections.

In 2014, while launching the party’s election manifesto, Western Cape Premier Helen Zille – leader of the DA at the time – said Mandela’s ANC had been “hijacked” by selfish leaders.

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