Former DA leader Sizwe Mchunu lays complaint with SAHRC over ‘offensive’ DA election posters
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DURBAN - Former KwaZulu-Natal DA leader Sizwe Mchunu, who joined the ANC some years ago, has accused the DA of lacking respect and showing disregard to the people who lost their lives in the violence in Phoenix amid the unrest in July this year.
This is in reference to the DA posters erected in Phoenix which caused a political storm. The posters read: “The ANC called you racists, The DA calls you heroes.”
After fierce backlash, the DA apologised and removed the posters.
Mchunu has sent a letter of complaint on the posters to the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC).
He said in the letter that while it is understood that parties will try every possible tactic to win votes, their actions should fall within the confines of both the Constitution and Electoral Act.
“It too, is expected of political parties not to mislead voters nor act in a manner that should in (any way) whatsoever seek to sow divisions along racial, ethnic, religious etc grounds. It is a known fact that the ‘Phoenix massacre’ is one very atrocious incident that our country suffered during the recent unrest, and the anguish of which is still unbearable for many,” Mchunu continued.
“I find it extremely insensitive of the DA to use the issue of the Phoenix Massacre as a political campaign slogan. Indeed, the DA’s campaign message in this particular regard smacks of unscrupulousness and lacks respect for those who lost their lives during the unrest.
“Frankly put, the DA’s action is a tantamount to an insult to both those that lost their lives and their bereaving families.”
Mchunu charged that the DA’s poster was deliberately misrepresenting the ANC’s message about the Phoenix atrocities, and sought to entrench racial divisions and undermine initiatives intended to enhance social cohesion in Phoenix and neighbouring areas.
South African Human Rights Commission spokesperson Gushwell Brooks was not available for comment, but Mchunu’s complaint had received an automated response from the commission’s office which acknowledged the complaint.