CAPE TOWN, South Africa
African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) supporters marched against racism before the opposition party’s main office in Cape Town on Friday afternoon.
An estimated 300 members gathered equipped with signs and anti-racism slogans aimed at the Democratic Alliance (DA).
“We will not allow racism to govern our province,” ANCYL supporter Craig Phillips told Anadolu Agency. “The DA is apartheid dressed up as democracy.”
The recent racial slur debacle involving former DA member, Penny Sparrow, who likened black South Africans to “monkeys”, provided the ammunition for the mobilized ANCYL.
Bystander Leslie Enugh said: “I think this is the ANC’s response to the big ‘Zuma Must Fall’ poster that was hung on the building in town.”
According to local media, a banner covering the entire side of a building was erected in Cape Town last Friday. It was taken down by African National Congress (ANC) supporters the next day.
DA member of Parliament Yusuf Cassim rebutted the march’s efforts.
“The ANC […] has been deplorable by protecting its members who have spewed racist and derogatory sentiments. Chief among them is ANC MP Bongani Mkongi.”
Mkongi had posted on Facebook that the building on which the “Zuma Must Fall” billboard was erected should be burnt down along with its inhabitants.
The ANCYL announced last night that it would be conducting an anti-racism campaign throughout the Western Cape region that will include public meetings, rallies, and marches.
“Racism needs to be removed through policy changes that the DA has been neglecting,” ANCYL leader Khalid Sayed said. “Their leader might oppose racism but a party consists of more than one person.”
Mmusi Maimane succeeded Premier of the Western Cape Helen Zille as leader of the DA in May 2015.
South Africa’s 2016 municipal elections are to be held later this year, the final voting date falling between May 18 and Aug. 16.
Since 2009, the Western Cape is the only South African province governed by an opposition political party.
Cassim added: “The march must be seen for what it is — a weak and thoughtless election ploy — aimed at giving the ANCYL some much needed media attention before the local government election this year.”