DA defends torn billboard

DA members unveil a billboard showing the names of victims of the 2012 Marikana massacre and the Life Esidimeni tragedy in Johannesburg yesterday which was later vandalised..
DA members unveil a billboard showing the names of victims of the 2012 Marikana massacre and the Life Esidimeni tragedy in Johannesburg yesterday which was later vandalised..
Image: WIKUS DE WET / AFP

The DA has defended its controversial billboard in Johannesburg after it was vandalised yesterday.

The billboard had the names and body count of people who died "under the ANC government", including Life Esidimeni and Marikana shootings victims.

The billboard, themed "The ANC Is Killing Us", in the Johannesburg inner city, was torn apart yesterday, just a day after it was unveiled.

DA spokesperson Solly Malatsi said: "The vandalisation (sic) of the commemorative billboard,

A committee representing families of the Life Esidimeni tragedy has described the DA billboard as 'offensive'.
A committee representing families of the Life Esidimeni tragedy has described the DA billboard as 'offensive'.

'The ANC Is Killing Us', is tarnishing the memory of those who have died under an ANC government. While it is not clear who is responsible for this destruction, it would not be the first time a DA billboard, which speaks hard truths, is vandalised."

The billboard, mounted along Queen Elizabeth Drive, shows a fist dripping with blood. It then lists all the names of people who died in Marikana and as a result of Life Esidimeni negligence, including children who have died in pit toilets.

On Wednesday, the DA marched through the inner city carrying placards with the faces of the ANC top six leadership echoing the billboard's theme. The march culminated in the opening of the billboard by DA leader Mmusi Maimane, who was accompanied by other party leaders.

A committee representing families of the Life Esidimeni tragedy this week described the billboard as offensive and complained that the DA did not consult them.

Committee member Andre Pietersen said when people learned about the board they were angry and threatened to pull it down. "I can't say who it is. I know there were people who were threatening to pull it down. On the chat group people were very angry and they said they would pull it down," said Pietersen.

The ANC has previously described the DA campaign as an act of desperation of a party that is evaporating in the political landscape.

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