The DA has come under fire for its election posters that were put up in Phoenix, north of Durban, ahead of the November 1 local government elections.
The two posters read “The ANC called you racists” and “The DA calls you heroes” but have been slammed, with claims that they are in reference to the murder of 36 black South Africans in Phoenix, allegedly at the hands of members of the Indian community, during the civil unrest that engulfed KwaZulu-Natal and parts of Gauteng in July.
In an interview with a television news channel, DA leader John Steenhuisen denied that his party was referring to those of the predominantly Indian community, who took the lives of the 36 people.
“There were Black, White and Coloured, and Indian South Africans, who stood on those barricades when this government retreated in the face of violence of their own internal making,” Steenhuisen said.
He said the “heroes” the DA was referring to are the people who stood up against the looters in the face of anarchy and “absolute lack of law enforcement”.
He said after the riots, other political parties had marched through Phoenix, holding up posters referring to all Indians as racist: “The only people calling people racist were the ANC and the EFF in that instance.”
The ANC in KZN on Tuesday described the posters as “shameful and fascist in nature”.
Twitter users also weighed in, calling the posters “cringe” and the DA “desperate for votes”.