The controversial DA Students Organisation (DASO) poster.

DA Youth leader Makashule Gana has leapt to defend the new ad campaign for his party’s student wing, which features a poster with a partially nude black and white couple locked in an embrace.

The picture of the young white man and black woman staring into one another’s eyes was posted on the DA Youth’s Facebook page and was used as Gana’s Twitter avatar – profile picture.

The plan is to use it on posters that will soon be seen on campuses across the country.

 Khanya Sigcawu hailed the poster, saying it was a “cool one”and adding: “(DA Students’ Organisation) reflects the South Africa we’re living in today.”

Verna Rainers did not share this sentiment, saying: “Terrible poster. It’s like the United Colors of Benetton advert from the 80s and I’d like to think we have moved on… Why is there such a mediocre understanding of race?

“It’s horrible.”

Gana said the campaign was aimed at sparking debate around the issue of race in a bid to create an open, non-racial society.

“We are a new generation of people and leaders and we want to create a particular society, (one in which) you wouldn’t look twice when you see something like this. We are talking about the future.”

Gana defended the concept of the poster – the first in a series – saying it was “not about sex”, was “far from pornography”, “definitely not in bad taste” and not intended to encourage sexual activity among the youth.

“The racists will say it’s racist… we can’t pretend race isn’t an issue. People have a problem with being naked. They are scared of seeing themselves… I don’t get it,” said Gana.

 * Meanwhile, Refiloe Nt’sekhe has been named the DA’s provincial spokeswoman in Gauteng.

Nt’sekhe matriculated from Pretoria High School for Girls in 1994 and graduated from the University of Cape Town with a BA in political philosophy. She also has a marketing diploma. She is a ward councillor in the Ekurhuleni Metro and the party’s spokeswoman on health and social development. Political Bureau