Spat over Madiba site

2019-01-11 15:40
The Nelson Mandela capture site near Howick.

The Nelson Mandela capture site near Howick.

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Another war of words has erupted between the ANC and the DA, this time over the DA’s decision to unveil its KZN elections team at the Nelson Mandela capture site near Howick.

ANC provincial secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli said the DA’s attempt to “associate” itself with Mandela was a sign that the official opposition was going through an identity crisis.

“Because they don’t have any people in their organisation that can be regarded as heroes in the true sense of the word, they have decided to appropriate ANC leaders,” he said.

The official opposition is scheduled to present its provincial elections team that will work around the party’s premier candidate, Zwakele Mncwango, at the Mandela capture site on Sunday.

Mncwango on Thursday defended the DA’s decision to unveil its team at the Mandela capture site, saying the party was proud to associate itself with the former president.

“The reason we decided to go there is because as the DA we identify with Mandela’s values and ideas. Unlike the current ANC leaders who are bent on dividing the country along racial lines, Mandela stood for unity and clean governance — something which the DA believes in. The ANC leaders who are currently visiting the province went to most parts of KZN but avoided going anywhere near Mandela’s capture site.

“The only reason they did not go there is because they know that they have drifted away from Mandela’s values and ideas,” he said.

However, Ntuli said it was opportunist for the DA to try to separate Mandela from the ANC.

“Mandela’s ideas were ANC ideas — even Mandela himself is on record as saying that his ideas and beliefs were shaped by the ANC.

“We view the DA’s decision to visit the Mandela capture site as an admission on the opposition’s part that the ANC is the only political party capable of producing leaders that can take this country forward,” he said.

The DA and ANC are some of the main political parties that will be vying for the control of KZN in the upcoming general elections. The rivalry between the two political parties is expected to intensify as the elections approach.

Earlier in the week, the DA fired the first salvo when it accused the ANC of stealing their slogan — One South Africa for All.

The DA’s national spokesperson, Solly Malatsi, who claims the official opposition crafted the slogan in April last year, said the DA was considering taking the matter to court after learning that the ANC had used the slogan during their birthday celebrations in Durban on Tuesday.

“The DA has chosen the slogan ‘One South Africa for All’ because we are the only party that is still committed to achieving non-racial ideals in South Africa,” he said.

“The DA would like to save the ANC from further embarrassment and remind them that we did in fact launch our election campaign on September 22. The ANC is the antithesis of ‘One South Africa for All’ and it is pitiful that the governing party would stoop so low as to brazenly stealing another party’s election slogan,” he said.

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