Home News Mandela family slams S.Africa opposition over poll ad

Mandela family slams S.Africa opposition over poll ad

Published on 05/07/2016

Nelson Mandela's family has denounced South Africa's main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) party for using the Nobel Peace laureate's voice in a television advert ahead of local elections next month.

The DA hopes to make major gains in municipal elections on August 3, tapping into widespread discontent over South Africa’s weakening economy and embattled President Jacob Zuma.

The advertisement shows a woman hesitating over whether to vote for the ruling ANC, before choosing DA after recalling a quote of the former president: “Let there be justice for all, let there be peace, let there be work, let there be bread for all.”

But Mandela’s family criticised the “desperate lengths” of the opposition to “dupe” voters, insisting that Mandela had always remained “a loyal and committed member of the ANC (African National Congress)”.

“(It) is not only an attempt by the DA to usurp his moral stature for its own ends; it is an assault on his character,” Mandla Mandela, an ANC lawmaker and the statesman’s eldest grandson, said, demanding the advert was withdrawn.

DA spokeswoman Refiloe Nt’sekhe on Tuesday said the party had not violated the electoral code and had no intention of withdrawing the clip.

“We don’t think we’re abusing Mandela’s legacy — we actually think we’re honouring it,” she told AFP.

“This is about saying that his legacy must live on, and if others have forgotten what it’s about, we will take that baton and move forward.”

The DA rules in the Western Cape province, currently holding the strategic metropolis of Cape Town.

The latest Ipsos opinion polls suggest that the ANC, which has ruled since the end of apartheid in 1994, could be under threat in three more major cities — Pretoria, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth — at the election.