Cape Town-140126-Residents from Khayelitsha share their views on the new ANC election posters, as they seem to be regarded as disrespectful to the Xhosa & Zulu cultures. Reporter: Zodidi, Photo: Ross Jansen

Cape Town - An ANC poster depicting a young man returning from initiation school has sparked controversy in Khayelitsha.

The poster, which shows the young man in initiation gear, his body covered with a blanket and his face smeared with cream, was put up on Spine Road in Khayelitsha.

Residents said it was disrespectful of the ANC to exploit Xhosa culture.

Nyosini Sebezo: “As an elderly man we do not talk or show photos of initiation because it is the best-kept secret in our culture, but now the ANC is making a public spectacle out of it. We will not accept it.

“Initiation in our culture is the most highly and most respected tradition, but now we are made a joke of.”

Horacious Dani said the poster make a mockery of IsiXhosa culture: “You can’t campaign with people’s culture. The ANC is using this opportunity to canvas votes from young men who have just returned from initiation school.“

Leesa Mathebula: “This is disgusting for us Xhosa women to see. There is a reason we know nothing about initiation and there is a reason we do not ask about it, because we don’t need to know about it. If you want to campaign why not use posters with houses, schools, hospitals?… that is what they constantly promise people... ”

ANC spokesman Xolani Sotashe said: “We as the ANC embrace all customs and cultures. That poster is not offensive at all. The ANC… is saying we need to stand up for our culture.”

Cape Argus