The governing African National Congress (ANC) said the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) “ANC is killing SA” election billboard exposed the bankruptcy of the opposition’s politics and the levels of desperation they had descended to.
On Wednesday, the DA unveiled a billboard in Johannesburg which the party said “is in remembrance of those who lost their lives at the hands of the uncaring ANC government” – namely, during the Marikana Massacre, the Life Esidimeni Saga, and children who died in pit latrines in schools.
In a statement issued following the unveiling of the billboard, the governing party said: “This is a party whose politics have become toxic, who believe that fear mongering and spreading lies will frighten voters to support them at the upcoming elections.”
The ANC said it was concerned that the conduct of the DA “flies in the face of the Electoral Code of Conduct as it is nothing short of spreading deliberate lies about” the governing party.
“The ANC will take up the matter in the appropriate forums provided for in the country’s electoral laws.”
It was reported that the families of the victims of the Life Esidimeni saga were infuriated by the naming of their relatives in the DA’s billboard and wanted the party to take it down.
— Sphelele (@SpheDludla) January 17, 2019
The governing party further took aim at DA city of Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba for his comments stating that ANC national executive committee member (NEC) Nomvula Mokonyane’s distribution of free sanitary pads to children led “kids to focus on sex, instead of education”.
“It is truly a sad day in our democracy if a party such as the DA believes that insulting young women by suggesting that providing them with sanitary towels is equivalent to promoting sexual promiscuity, makes them a party that represents values the majority of South Africans’ espouse.
“Rather than focusing on their ailing election campaign, the DA, once again, demonstrated its inability to present to South Africans sound alternative policies.”
The governing party further lambasted the DA for putting out election campaign posters in African languages “with glaring errors”. One poster in poorly written IsiZulu was doing the rounds on social media earlier in the week.
“The fact that the DA has no qualms about putting up African-language posters with glaring errors demonstrates their disdain for those who speak the languages.”
The governing party pointed to a recent Ipsos poll which said the ANC could get 61% of the vote in May, while the DA could garner 14% of the vote based on those interviewed during the survey.
“The recent IPSOS survey report has dealt a devastating blow to the DA ambitions to win the upcoming elections as the party has become insignificant and irrelevant to the majority of South Africa. We are humbled that South Africans across the racial divide continue to express confidence in the ANC.”
The governing party said its recently unveiled manifesto outlined its plans to take the country forward “and build a cohesive society, where all its citizens not only meaningfully contribute to its growth, but equally benefit from the opportunities brought about by our democracy”.
“The path towards creating a society that is non-racial, non-sexist, and prosperous has never been an easy one and many challenges have confronted our efforts in transforming our society. There is no doubt that the successive ANC administrations have transformed the lives of the majority of South Africans for the better.”