- Fikile Mbalula took to Twitter to slam the DA's campaign strategy
- He implied that the DA only gained support in 2016 because of the former president
- His comment surprised many on social media, who said he was essentially insulting Jacob Zuma's leadership as well
In a tweet, ANC head of elections Fikile Mbalula slammed the DA, saying that the DA's electoral successes over the last few years were due to Jacob Zuma's presidency rather than their own efforts.
However, his comments also seemed to be an indictment of the former president.
Mbalula was replying to Herman Mashaba, the DA mayor of Johannesburg. He accused the DA of having no campaign strategy and implied that their growth in support was due to the failures of the Zuma administration. In the 2016 local elections, ANC support dipped to an historic low of 54% resulting in the loss of three metros.
"Zuma years helped u a lot," Mbalula wrote.
He made the comments in response to the DA's controversial '#TheANCIsKillingUs' billboard, which featured the names of those who had lost their lives in the Marikana massacre and the Life Esidimeni tragedy, along with images of ANC leaders and dripping blood. The billboard drew strong condemnation and has since been torn down.
Mbalula also seemed to be referencing the fact that polls predict the ANC's support to bounce back under Ramaphosa, and leave both the DA and EFF with smaller gains than they received in 2016.
Mbalula's tweet drew some surprise from social media, however. Many users were shocked that a high-ranking ANC member would seem to agree that the Zuma years helped the DA gain voters.
The comment is also noteworthy because Mbalula had formerly been a staunch Zuma loyalist before he threw his support behind Cyril Ramaphosa.
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