ATM calls for DA’s removal from 2021 local government elections over Phoenix campaign posters
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Johannesburg - The African Transformation Movement (ATM) is fuming over the DA’s divisive poster in Phoenix, KwaZulu-Natal.
Party president Vuyo Zungula has written to the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) demanding the DA to be struck off the ballot for the local government elections scheduled for November 1.
Zungula cited that the DA ignored the Electoral Code of Conduct, its provisions and prohibitions, which mention that parties should not use language which may incite violence.
In a letter to the IEC's Chief Electoral Officer Sy Mamabolo, Zungula lamented that black lives are not a joke.
“The celebration of the loss of black lives is a clear indication that the Democratic Alliance is not willing to contribute to building an equal South Africa,” Zungula said.
He said in a country that is trying to heal from the injustices of the past, racial and economic inequalities, and unfair distribution of economies, the fuelling of the zeitgeist adversely sets the country back over a decade in the attempt to rebuild South Africa.
“A fact the Democratic Alliance has chosen to blatantly ignore as they put up damning posters in Phoenix,” he said.
The ATM leader also said that in terms of Section 78 of the Municipal Electoral Act, subject to Section 20(4) of the Electoral Commission Act and other relevant legislation, the party is calling for action to be taken against the Democratic Alliance as a matter of urgency.
“They should be fined up to R200 000. They must give up the party’s election deposit. They must have their party registration cancelled, and the party leader must be found guilty of a criminal offence and should be fined or sent to prison for up to 10 years,” he said.
Zungula said that no loss of life in this country should be celebrated, especially when the material conditions and status quo prompt unruly action.
The controversial poster read: “The ANC called you Racist; The DA calls you Heroes”. This is in response to the July unrest in KwaZulu-Natal, where about 300 people lost their lives.
In a television interview yesterday, DA leader John Steenhuisen refused to apologise for the poster, which is seen to be divisive.
He said the community of Phoenix was merely protecting themselves after the residents were described as blood-thirsty racist Indians.
“There were heroic people in that community, who stood up and protected the elderly, they protected young children, they protected businesses. In the face of a government that completely lost control of the situation because they cannot even get the basics like policing right,” he said.
Political analyst Ralph Mathekga said removing the DA from the ballot would be overboard and unnecessary.
Mathekga rather suggests that the DA should feel the pinch of their political statement, which may have been miscalculated and lacked strategy.
“In principle, I'm not a person who agrees with the DA statement, but I don't want it to be removed from the ballot. We need to understand when you make a political statement, there will be political consequences,” he said.
He said the DA adopted a political statement, and when it is adopted, the party has to calculate, elections are about such kinds of statements.
Mathekga said that the DA have their foot in their mouth, but other parties should not pronounce themselves above politics and tell us what we must and must not hear.