Home South African DA defiant over criticism of its ‘divisive’ SA flag-burning ad

DA defiant over criticism of its ‘divisive’ SA flag-burning ad

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The DA is facing criticism over its latest election advertisement that depicts the burning of the South African national flag.

DA party leader John Steenhuisen has remained defiant, saying the burning of the flag is “symbolic” of a doomsday coalition involving the ANC and the EFF. Picture: Timothy Bernard, Independent Newspapers

THE DA is facing criticism over its latest election advertisement that depicts the burning of the South African national flag.

The party said the upcoming general election was about survival, and the advert was intended to stop the corruption of the ANC, EFF and the uMkhonto weSizwe Party (MKP) whose relationship would spell disaster for the rule of law should they join forces after the election.

The advert was launched by DA leader John Steenhuisen on Sunday night, with many South Africans slamming the burning of the flag portrayed in the advert. However, Steenhuisen has remained defiant, saying the burning of the flag is “symbolic” of the doomsday coalition of the ANC and the EFF.

“What you will see in this advertisement is a symbolic representation of the future that awaits South Africa if people do not vote for the DA,” he said.

In the advert, a South African flag is burnt to ashes with a background voice narrating how the DA would save the country from the fire.

The DA claims the ANC will lose its majority and will thus want to work with these parties to subject the country to yet another five years of corruption and destruction.

Speaking at the launch event for the advert, Steenhuisen said South Africans had a big choice to make in the elections.

“After May 29, South Africans will be governed by either the doomsday coalition between the ANC and the EFF and possibly MKP as well as many smaller parties outside of the Multi-Party Charter, or by the new Multi-Party Charter government with the DA fulfilling its role as a strong anchor party based on its size and our track record of good governance,” said Steenhuisen.

Political analyst Professor Sipho Seepe said the national flag has long lost its significance under the 30-year ANC misrule.

“The flag was supposed to represent the ideal of a free and prosperous society in which all people live in harmony and with equal opportunity. That ideal has been destroyed. South Africa is a wasteland of broken promises. It holds the dubious global dishonour of being the poster child of inequality.

“The flag has long been tarnished under ANC rule. We should be outraged that 30 years down the line, a majority of our people live in squalor. That the president of the country finds people are subjected to conditions where sewage streams down the streets a laughing matter.

“That young people graduate to unemployment. That the health system has collapsed and we have over 800 doctors roaming the streets because the system can not absorb them.”

Reacting to the advert on social media, former public protector Professor Thuli Madonsela accused the DA of abusing its freedom of expression.

“I fully understand the intention, but there could have been other metaphoric symbols to communicate the message.”

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