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Durban - Embarrassed ANC officials in KwaZulu-Natal are scrambling to remove election campaign posters with Nelson Mandela’s clan name spelt incorrectly.
“Defend Madib’s Legacy”, declared the posters, which have been put up in and around Durban.
Mandela was often referred to as Madiba, but never as “Madib”.
The ANC blamed its printer for the error, saying on Sunday they had ordered party members to remove them.
But it was unable to explain how some posters had the name spelt correctly but not others.
“The ANC did not make this mistake, it was made by our service provider, the people that printed the posters,” said Senzo Mkhize, the ANC’s provincial spokesman. “We all know it is Madiba and not Madib’s. We have instructed our members to take down the poster but some of them say they have no problem with it.”
Mkhize said he could not disclose how many posters with the error were printed but all of them would be replaced.
Residents from several Durban suburbs took the ANC to task for the mistake.
“The fact that the ANC is using Mandela as a campaigning tool is distasteful, but to spell his name incorrectly, that’s even worse,” said Amanda Sapo of Bellair.
Kyle Akaloo, of Chatsworth, said: “It is very disrespectful towards the late president. Do they not employ people to check things like this before they put them up? Blaming the printers is the easy way out.”
Dineo Kubeka, of La Lucia, described the ANC’s decision to use the Mandela poster as “silly”.
“It’s not fair to use Mandela as a tool to get voters, he is dead,” Kubeka said. “I am sure even a 5-year-old can spell Madiba correctly. This is just another embarrassment for them and it is something that could have been avoided.”
Candice Lazarus, of Berea, asked, “Who is Madib’s? Clearly someone, either at the printers or in the ANC, is illiterate.”