Johannesburg - The Freedom Front Plus has slammed ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa for making “racist and polarising” remarks.
Ramaphosa warned Limpopo residents that if they didn’t register to vote in next year’s general elections, they would come under white rule.
Ramaphosa told a disgruntled resident in Seshego, the hometown of Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema, that if “all South Africans don’t vote, we will regress, the Boers will come back to control us”.
Ramaphosa’s statement has riled the FF+, whose leader, Pieter Mulder, the deputy minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, said: “The ANC and Mr Cyril Ramaphosa should never dare to accuse opposition parties of using the swart gevaar (black threat) or other scare tactics following his ‘the Boers will return’ remarks this past weekend.
“Apart from the fact that such a statement is not based on any real facts, it is also racist and polarising,” said Mulder.
Mulder said the ANC was resorting to “primitive scare tactics” because it had run out of excuses to defend high unemployment rates, rampant corruption and poor service delivery. He said the ruling party was in deep trouble with impatient voters ahead of next year’s elections.
Ramaphosa made the statement while trying to dissuade a Seshego resident, Johanna Phala, from boycotting next year’s elections. Phala had said she had been disappointed by the ANC.
Reacting to the FF+, ANC national spokesman Keith Khoza said the party was trying to become relevant by deliberately misquoting Ramaphosa. He said Ramaphosa’s use of the Boer concept did not refer to a specific race group.
“You would know that the Boer refers to the erstwhile administration, not specifically white farmers,” said Khoza.
“(The FF+) have a narrow interest of representing white interests. If anybody is racist, it’s them, not the ANC.”
The DA said Ramaphosa’s remarks showed he was stuck in the dark ages.
“The ANC is panicking, which is why even people like Cyril Ramaphosa are using the race card. As Jacob Zuma’s ANC sees its power slipping, it appeals more and more to tired racial insinuations and the supernatural to convince supporters to stick with them,” said DA spokesman Mmusi Maimane.
“First it was the fires of hell. Now it is the ghosts of the apartheid regime that are being invoked to scare voters into staying with a party that deserted them a long time ago.”