- Controversial figure, Helen Zille, chairperson of the Federal Council of the DA, says she will not condemn the highly debated party posters in Phoenix
- The posters stoked the fires of racial tension in the area north of Durban following the civil unrest in July
- Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi said the DA was using dirty tactics to capitalise on those who died during the civil unrest
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DURBAN - The Federal Council Chairperson for the Democratic Alliance (DA) Helen Zille has responded to backlash that stemmed from the recent campaign posters placed around Phoenix, north of Durban.
Her response makes it clear that she stands firm on the campaign strategy in spite of the potential link to race influenced crimes that the posters carry.
Posters with the phrase, "The ANC called you racists; the DA calls you heroes," populated the Phoenix area recently before the DA retracted the posters in light of public criticism against what many believe provokes racial conflict.
IFP founder Mangosuthu Buthelezi took the time to comment on the situation, expressing destain of the campaign strategy of the DA as they proceed to accuse the official opposition party of using the deaths of those caught in the violence of the civil unrest as a way of garnering support ahead of elections.
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Speaking to SABC News, Zille said she refuses to condemn the message, even with the death toll in Phoenix sitting at over 30 following the civil unrest and an official apology by the DA’s KwaZulu-Natal leadership.
According to EWN, Mike Waters has since resigned as campaign manager for the DA, pinning his decision on the way the party handled the Phoenix situation.
Social media users share their thoughts about Zille and the DA
"The issue is not whether the Phoenix residents are heroes or racists - the issue is that our political parties continue to sow racial tension for their own political gain."
"@helenzille is a racist antagonist and will always defend her Caucasian allies, irrespective of how wrong they are."
"The DA is making it clear that they're not interested in black votes. Why would they be interested in black votes if they can just capture the ANC? Right now, the ANC is doing everything that the DA under Helen Zille sought to achieve."
Mangosuthu Buthelezi visits Phoenix as polls near: "I come as a champion of justice"
Previously, Briefly News reported that Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi arrived in Phoenix, Durban, to a warm reception amid an election campaign visit to the area on Monday, 11 October.
The veteran politician's party spoke exclusively to Briefly News about their current campaign efforts and the message of hope this was accompanied by for the community that became the subject of so-called racially motivated killings amid the public unrest in July.
Speaking at a community gathering ahead of the local polls on 1 November, Buthelezi reminded the people of the importance of social cohesion and the years-long friendship he has had with the Indian community.