The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) has seemingly taken a dig at the Democratic Alliance (DA) following its controversial Phoenix posters.
‘Real heroes restore peace’
The DA recently came under fire after it put up posters in Phoenix – located north of Durban in KwaZulu-Natal -which read “The ANC called you racists” and “The DA calls you heroes” ahead of the local government elections.
The posters were then met with much criticism as they referred to the 36 deaths in the area during the civil unrest that engulfed KwaZulu-Natal and parts of Gauteng in July.
The investigations into the murders has led to 56 people being arrested to date.
While the DA has since apologised and took down the posters last week, the IFP has responded with a poster of their own reading, “Real heroes unite communities”.
Addressing supporters in Phoenix on Monday, former IFP leader Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi said the real heroes of Phoenix were the people who worked to unite and restore peace.
“The focus needs to shift away from the few to the many who are working to save South Africa. The debate needs to change. The dichotomy between racists and heroes is wrong.
“Heroes are not people who take the law into their own hands. Real heroes unite communities. Real heroes restore peace. And within the communities of Phoenix, KwaMashu, Chatsworth, Bambhai and elsewhere, there are millions of real heroes.”
Buthelezi was on the campaign trail with the country set to go to the polls on November 1.
DA leader John Steenhuisen defended the posters, saying he would not apologise for the controversy caused and argued that the messaging on the posters was “misinterpreted”.
He said he hoped South Africans would understand his party’s message, saying they had no ill intentions and were not trying to stir racial tensions in Phoenix.
He further refused to comment on whether the DA would take disciplinary action against those responsible for putting up the posters, saying the party’s federal legal commission would deal with the matter.
The ANC has already signalled its intention to approach the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), in order to have the DA investigated for their posters.
ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte said although it was a “good thing” that the DA took the posters down, the governing party would still go ahead with its SAHRC complaint.