DA posters put up in Phoenix ahead of the municipal elections. PHOTO: RAJESH JANTILAL/AFP

THE DA is in the process of removing controversial election posters in KwaZulu-Natal, which have inadvertently caused offence, the party’s provincial chairperson Dean MacPherson confirmed on Thursday.

Various political parties have condemned the posters, saying they were racist, fascist and promoted vigilantism, with the ANC threatening to lay a complaint with the Human Rights Commission.

However, the DA has since apologised and promised to remove the posters with immediate effect, starting on Thursday.

“In my sincere effort to honour the bravery and heroism of law-abiding citizens who were left to fend for themselves during the July riots and insurrections, the posters have regretfully caused hurt to some people. I am deeply sorry and apologise for this,” Macpherson said.

“As these posters were unsanctioned by the DA leader, party structures and party campaign leadership, I am arranging the removal of these posters today (Thursday).”

 The posters, which read: “The ANC called you racists,” and: “The DA calls you heroes,” referred to alleged racial tensions in Phoenix, which surfaced during the civil unrest in July and left many people dead.

Macpherson said: “My intended message was that in the massive void created by a failing state, unable to secure South Africans’ homes and businesses during the riots, some heroic residents were forced to stand up and do what the police and army were unable to do. This action was met with allegations of racism from the ANC.”

“At no point did I, [or] the DA, and at no point would I or the DA ever condone or support those who undertook vigilante actions. In fact, I once again condemn those who undertook vigilante actions which cost lives and damage to property. The DA is a party of non-racialism and it was never my intention to cause any other perception.”

ANC Deputy Secretary General Jessie Duarte said: “It was highly disappointing for the African National Congress to see the posters that have once again divided society; for us it is nothing new. Every election the DA brings out their colonial mentality of divide & rule as they do in the Western Cape.”

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