Cape Town 160115 A "Zuma Must Fall" billboard being place above McDonal's at the intersection of Long Street and Kloof Street. The Zuma Must Fall campaign has grown momentum after the firing of Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene. Photo by Michael Walker

Cape Town - The group behind the huge Zuma Must Fall billboard in Cape Town says the sign is “absolutely not racist” and not politically aligned.

A spokesman for "the private intiative of concerned citizens", who have chosen to remain anonymous, told eNCA reporter Annika Larsen in a video interview that the aim of the sign was to continue a conversation "we promised to keep going, which was about leadership”.

The group met at the Zuma Must Fall march in Cape Town last year.

”We had no idea that those three words up on a sign were going to have the explosive social media response that it did,” the spokesman said.

The massive sign, which was erected on an apartment block in Kloof Street in Cape Town’s CBD on Friday, has sparked heated debate about racism and free speech.

The sign was torn down on Saturday by ANC supporters.

The city council has given the matter over to prosecution authorities, saying the size of the structure exceeded that which was allowed for outdoor signs and the company that put up the sign – Independent Outdoor Media – had failed to seek the necessary approval from local authorities.

On Monday a gigantic South African flag was erected in its place. The group of citizens was also behind this.

The spokesman told eNCA that the sentiment behind the sign was not racist but rather “deep disappointment and grave concern that there are decisions that are being made that don’t appear to be well thought through and that have immediate consequences, in many respects, financial consequences which are going to indebt generations to come.”

He said the reason why they had chosen to remain anonymous was that”it wasn’t going to be about the voice of the initiative.”

“it was really just a platform for expressing a sentiment and what was going to arise out of that which was going to be a conversation that the South African public was going to have.”

The tearing down of the poster, he said, was an unexpected turn of events

And the message of the flag? “...Unity, national unity. This is what matters in this country.”