WERNER HORN, DA member of parliament, has vowed that the party would not commit the “suicidal mistake” of using black voters to stay in power and then disregard their contribution and neglect them. He assured voters of their importance in the future of the party against the backdrop of the launch of the party’s election manifesto for the 2016 local government election in Mangaung.The DA’s Mangaung Metro mayoral candidate, James Letuka, delivered a keynote address on 18 June to intensify the campaign to persuade voters in Mangaung to vote for the DA in the local government election on 3 August.Horn said that the DA would not make the suicidal mistake of excluding black voters. He pointed out that it had led to the demise of the National Party, which had held onto power based on the apartheid policy and had been in government from 4 June 1948 until 9 May 1994, the dawn of democracy. “The diversity of the party is one of our strengths. We must work to regain where we have lost and re-establish the whole idea of the rainbow nation and unity in our diversity, which is very much in the DA,” said Horn. He said sectors in the opposition claimed the DA was using black voters for political gain. Horn said that this was a smear campaign, adding that it was an indictment of some sectors in the ANC for holding that view about the DA’s diversity in campaigning. “It is a sad indictment that within the ANC, some play racial diversity games to campaign and draw the attention away from poor service delivery and failures in local government. This sees the collapse of the municipalities they govern and causes failure to improve the lives of those still haunted by the apartheid legacy in townships,” said Horn. Letuka echoed these statements. “The ANC-led local municipality’s failure to pay salaries was a crystal-clear case of an inefficient model of governance and the collapse of municipalities.” The municipality was unable to pay the salaries of their employees for the month of May. It had apparently not been the first time that officials have not been paid and they downed tools in protest. “The auditor-general’s consolidated 2014-’15 report for municipalities in the Free State stated that 15 Free State municipalities run by the ANC were technically bankrupt,” he said.