'The message must remain' - DA has no plans to remove controversial billboard

2019-01-23 16:08

DA leader Mmusi Maimane says the party has no plans to remove a controversial billboard in Johannesburg just yet.

The billboard, erected last Wednesday, contained the message "The ANC is killing us", and listed the names of victims of the Marikana massacre, the Life Esidimeni tragedy, and schoolchildren who have died in pit latrines.

Various family members of Life Esidimeni victims criticised the party for not consulting them before putting up the billboard. Two people who identified themselves as family members tore the billboard down on Thursday last week.

"We are meeting with family members in the next couple of days. At this point in time, the message must remain," Maimane said on Wednesday.

"The billboard is only a reminder to South Africans that Life Esidimeni took place, Marikana took place, children are dying in pit latrines… at which point has there ever been a politician who has been held to account?" he asked.

Maimane was speaking to journalists outside the KwaMnyandu Mall in Umlazi, south of Durban, during his "Kasi-to-Kasi tour" in KwaZulu-Natal.

'We wanted justice for our people'

He said that when they took up the fight on behalf of the people affected by the tragedy at Life Esidimeni, "we did so because we wanted justice for our people".

"Even still today, some of the family members have not been compensated for the loss of their loved ones. We will continue that fight because ultimately, if this ANC government continues and no accountability is held tomorrow, it would be further family members and South Africans who are being killed by this same government," he said.

Before speaking to the media, Maimane was warmly welcomed by informal traders and workers he interacted with inside and outside the Umlazi mall.

He encouraged them to register to vote in the upcoming final voter registration weekend.

Maimane was accompanied by DA premier candidate Zwakele Mncwango and other senior DA members in the province.

He said one of the challenges faced by people in KwaZulu-Natal was unemployment.

"We want each and every household to at least have one person who is working, because if people are not working the poverty rate increases. We want a South Africa that has police who work for the nation so that we are able to deal with corruption," he said.

Read more on:    da  |  mmusi maimane  |  durban  |  johannesburg  |  politics  |  elections
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