DA Youth responds to poster controversy
Lauren Hess, News24
Cape Town - Reactions on university campuses to the DA Youth’s controversial poster has apparently ranged from liberal and well-received to downright outrage, the organisation said on Tuesday.
The poster shows a white man embracing a black woman and implies that the two are naked. Below is a tagline which states: “DASO, in our future you wouldn’t look twice.”
The group’s federal youth chair Mbali Ntuli told News24 that on campuses such as Rhodes University in the Eastern Cape the reaction had been largely positive.
“People [have] really been embracing the campaign, people using it as their Facebook pictures, putting it on their res doors,” Ntuli said.
Meanwhile at other tertiary institutions, such as Tuks, the response has not been so welcoming.
“There has been a major outrage. People who aren’t even in Daso [DA Student Organisation] are finding that the poster offends them.”
However, Carel Willemse, the editor of the Tuks student newspaper Perdeby, said he had been on campus for two weeks and hadn’t seen any of the posters.
UCT spokesperson Pat Lucas said that students had yet to converge on campus as the academic year had not yet begun.
The poster did cause a stir on social networks, with the DA Youth receiving more than 800 comments on its Facebook page.
Many of the comments ranged around the fact that the couple were supposedly naked but Mbali said that many people who do appear to be offended by the nudity “seem to be using that as an excuse to mask their discomfort with the fact that it’s an interracial couple.
“There have been some ridiculous but common things that have been said such as ‘it should have been a black guy and a white woman’. What difference would that have made?”
The Christian Democratic Party also criticised the poster, saying that it promoted “sexual promiscuity”.
"At a stage when the country needs higher levels of morality, the DA launches a poster clearly promoting sexual immorality," party leader Theunis Botha said.
"There are many ways in which the DA could have projected its image as a non-racial party, rather than using a poster clearly promoting sexual promiscuity."
Botha said the poster was "distasteful to the extreme" and an insult to the many young people, black and white, who uphold high moral values.
"In a country with high levels of Aids and an overdose of crime, especially the high incidence of farm murders this year, this poster sends the opposite message to the country than needed."
‘A necessary campaign?'
Meanwhile, others questioned why the DA Youth decided to launch the campaign in the first place.
Lindile tweeted: “To better illustrate non racialism: a black couple in their Bishopscourt home:in DA future no-one would look twice. [sic]”
“Nice try #DASO but in my South Africa, its not a big deal to see an interracial couple embracing!Oops they probably were referring 2 CPT [Cape Town]!lol [sic],” Phaki Mbengashe @Phakiii said on Twitter.
Nomalanga Mkhize also tweeted: “In my future I teach at a Rhodes University which reflects the demographics of the world not Constantia.”
Ntuli said that it also appeared that the response from DA supporters had been mixed with some even saying that they would not vote for the party in future.
However, it has apparently received the backing of party president Helen Zille.
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