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DA says it did not sanction face masks sporting its logo

The DA has distanced itself from face masks branded with the party's logo.
The DA has distanced itself from face masks branded with the party's logo.
Image: Gallo Images

The DA says it did not commission the production of face masks bearing its logo and colours — although it was aware of some structures making the masks.

A number of pictures have been doing the rounds of social media showing face masks bearing colours of different political parties, including the DA, the ANC and the EFF.

Face masks have become one of the most sought-after items following the outbreak of the coronavirus.

DA spokesperson Solly Malatsi said the party's leadership did not sanction the making of the masks bearing the party’s branding, but he was aware that the masks were made by members in Mpumalanga and the Eastern Cape.

“It’s just individual initiatives. I think one colleague of mine in Mpumalanga, she is a councillor there, and the other one I think is also a councillor or a public rep in the Eastern Cape. They were just doing homemade masks for distribution to their constituents or to the members,” he said.

He said individuals were at liberty to implement such initiatives but the DA had not taken a position on whether to support such initiatives.

“The bottom line is that the party hasn’t commissioned any party-branded masks.”

Asked if the party was concerned that its members would be seen as exploiting an international pandemic for political gain, Malatsi said: “Of course we are concerned about the political risks of politicising a disaster, but it is equally important to recognise individual efforts of people who are acting in good faith to do things in goodwill.”

Malatsi said the masks were not for sale and were not meant for campaigning.

Earlier on Wednesday, the ANC posted audio of its deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte distancing her party from the party-branded masks, saying it did not condone their sale.

“It has come to the attention of the ANC that there are some private-sector individuals who are producing face masks with the emblem of the ANC. There are also individuals who are making masks for themselves out of used ANC T-shirts,” she said.

“We are making an appeal out of those members of the private sector not to abuse the ANC emblem and also we are asking the ANC membership to understand that Covid-19 affects everyone, irrespective of which political party you may belong to.”

Duarte cautioned against the sale of masks with political party emblems.

“This flies in the face of the unity that is being forged in fighting against Covid-19. We urge you comrades not to sell masks with the ANC’s emblem on it,” she said.

EFF spokesperson Vuyo Pambo has not yet replied to TimesLIVE on his party's branded masks and hand sanitisers.

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