DA In About-Turn, Removes Offensive Posters

The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Thursday made a u-turn on its offensive posters and announced that it was taking them down.

The offensive DA paired posters, placed one on top of the other, read: “The ANC called you racists” and “The DA calls you heroes”.

At least 36 African people who passed through Phoenix, an old Indian town about 25 km northwest of Durban, lost their lives in the July unrest. They were attacked for no apparent reason – especially considering there were no incidents of looting in the area.

Amid a deluge of criticism, Dean Macpherson the DA KwaZulu-Natal chairperson, said his party was in the process of removing posters, “which have inadvertently caused offence”.

He added: “In my sincere effort to honour the bravery and heroism of law-abiding citizens who were left to fend for themselves during the July riots and insurrections, the posters have regretfully caused hurt to some people.

“I am deeply sorry and apologise for this.”

He said the offensive posters were not sanctioned by the DA leader, party structures and party campaign leadership for the 1 November local government elections.

However, a day earlier the DA leader John Steenhuisen lauded the posters and said he would not apologise for calling people heroes for defending their property and lives.

Contrary to the DA leader, on Wednesday the party’s mayoral candidate for Johannesburg, Dr. Mpho Phalatse, said: “I have different views and the party has different views.”

She urged her party colleagues to “apologise, take the posters down, come up with a catchy campaign message, and we all move on in the interest of building the nation”.

Police Minister Bheki Cele described Steenhuisen as a “thug”, others simply labeled him and his party racists.

“We’ve got 56 people that are appearing in different courts in KZN,” said Cele.

These suspects were arrested in connection with the murders in Phoenix. 

“To stand up and say those people are heroes?” inquired Cele, adding, “[is it] because those people that were killed are Africans?”

Stung by the criticism, Macpherson swallowed his pride on Thursday and heeded Dr. Phalatse’s advice.

“I am arranging the removal of these posters today,” said Macpherson, who is also a DA Member of Parliament.

DA’s offensive posters