Cape Town - It is good to campaign against drug abuse, but not to use Mayor Patricia de Lille as a poster girl, says the ANC.
While the party said it supported the City of Cape Town’s anti-drug campaign launched by De Lille two weeks ago, ANC leader in the city council Tony Ehrenreich said the posters were in the DA’s colours and De Lille’s image was displayed more prominently than the anti-drug campaign.
The poster shows De Lille’s head and shoulders with the words “Don’t Start Be Smart” in big, bold, blue print.
However, De Lille’s spokesman, Solly Malatsi, warned the ANC to stop “politicising the issue which is important to the future of the city”.
“The posters the ANC refers to are part of a broader campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of drug abuse and reach out to those who need the city’s help to overcome their addiction.”
He said the posters display a toll-free number that addicts, or their families and friends, can dial to seek help from the city’s rehabilitation centres.
“The ANC is trying to denigrate an important awareness campaign aimed at addressing the scourge of drugs in the city,” said Malatsi.
He dismissed the ANC’s allegations that De Lille was harbouring intentions of becoming the DA’s provincial leader and said she had repeatedly stated that she was not in the race for the position.
Ehrenreich accused the DA of promoting itself at the expense of the poor as drugs ravaged poorer areas in the city. He said drugs and gangsters in Cape Town were getting out of hand, but the DA had not come up with an “effective plan” to deal with the issues.
Malatsi said preparations were under way for a march to the homes of drug dealers to tell them “enough is enough”.
“We will inform the public of the date, time and route for the march in due course,” he said.
During the official launch of the campaign in Bellville two weeks ago, De Lille said drug dealers should not be allowed to live among “ law-abiding citizens”.
The city’s outpatient drug rehabilitation sites also had stands, issuing pamphlets at the event.
It is estimated the centres treat more than 1 000 people each year.