Duarte to visit Phoenix after ANC-DA election poster clash
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DURBAN – AS the country edges closer to the local government elections, the ruling party has ramped up its campaign with deputy secretary-general and member of the National Executive Council (NEC) Jesse Duarte visiting the Phoenix area today.
Duarte’s visit, which will be hosted at Eastbury in Phoenix, just north of Durban, is also meant to quell tensions in the area that may have arisen following a controversial election poster put up by the DA.
The posters, which read: “The ANC calls you racist. The DA calls you heroes,” has caused animosity between the ruling party and the DA, with both sides defending its stance in terms of the July unrest which claimed the lives of 36 people in the Phoenix area.
The province’s executive council, under the leadership of Premier Sihle Zikalala, has also condemned the poster, calling the DA opportunistic.
“The executive council calls upon the communities to resist all who are using these unfortunate events to further divide the community or to make political capital out of the misery of the people.
“Sowing divisions and tensions to garner votes is an act of political selfishness, which undermines the victims’ pain and the efforts at peace, led by right-thinking members of the community and government. The executive council reiterates its position that there are no votes that are worth jumping over the corpses of our people for,” it said.
ANC provincial spokesman Nhlakanipho Ntombela said it was political hypocrisy of the highest order. Ntombela called on Indians in Durban to work with the ANC.
“We call on the Indian community, particularly in Phoenix and Chatsworth, and all the surrounding areas, to see for themselves that the DA is clearly a racist organisation,” Ntombela said.
But the DA said the poster was meant to honour those that defended their rights and properties when the police were nowhere to be found, leader John Steenhuisen told the media yesterday.
With cases involving incidents relating to the unrest still active, Zikalala said that a peace monument will be erected in Phoenix in December, to remember those who died during July’s civil unrest and looting.
The monument is said to bear the names of the 36 people who died.