- The Democratic Alliance unveiled a billboard listing the names of those who died at Marikana and Esidimeni
- Maimane blamed the ANC directly for the deaths
- While many cheered the billboard, others took to social media to condemn it
The DA's new #TheANCIsKillingUs has received a mixed response, from support to outrage.
The DA unveiled the campaign on Wednesday in Johannesburg, alongside billboards listing the names of individuals who had lost their lives in the Marikana massacre, in the Life Esidimeni tragedy and those who had drowned in pit toilets. The names were accompanied by images of ANC leaders and dripping blood.
Mmusi Maimane accused the ruling party of getting away with murder. He cited as an example Gauteng premiere David Makhura, who was in office when the Esidimeni tragedy took place and who has not been axed. Maimane added that this was proof that the ANC did not care about ordinary South Africans.
Maimane directly blamed the ANC for the deaths and compared Marikana to the Sharpeville massacre, saying that the miners had the right to strike and that the government used excessive force in cracking down on the protests.
The campaign immediately caused a stir on social media. Some cheered it, but others condemned it for being insensitive. The ANC claimed the billboard violated the Electoral Code of Conduct, while various citizens on social media slammed the DA for exploiting the deaths for political gain.
However, party leaders defended the billboard, saying it was a memorial to those who had lost their lives. The DA's chief whip John Steenhuisen said the billboard was meant to make those responsible feel uncomfortable.
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