Gauteng ANC chairman Paul Mashatile yesterday appeared to give tacit permission to the DA to use the late Nelson Mandela’s name in adverts as the parties campaign for the local government elections.
The ANC was celebrating International Mandela Day with a pilgrimage to the Nelson Mandela statue at the Union Buildings in Tshwane yesterday.
“At some time of his life, he became the leader of the nation so it would not be surprising that there are many of us in South Africa who claim him as our father, as our leader. And [that] is natural,” said Mashatile.
“So if anyone from the opposition wanted to honour Madiba, we [the ANC] would not have a problem. He is the father of the nation.”
Mashatile’s remarks come days after members of the Mandela family accused the DA of abusing the late statesman’s name, demanding that it “immediately” withdraw its online advertisement on YouTube in which the DA uses excerpts of Mandela’s recorded speeches calling for peace and justice.
Mashatile, also the MEC of Human Settlements in Gauteng, said Mandela’s family had not contacted the ANC about the matter.
“They feel that way and [we] will leave it as a family matter.”
The Times has seen a statement released under the banner of the Royal House of Mandela, which says the opposition party is violating the electoral code. It wants the Independent Electoral Commission to take action.
The family said the use of Madiba’s voice was an attempt to “lend credibility to a party which has made the preservation of white privilege its reason to exist.”
The family added that the association of Mandela’s name with the DA was an “insult” and an “affront to his history, his party of choice, his legacy and the values for which he stood”.
Mashatile said though the ANC had no problem with the DA using the Mandela name, it should not try to “divorce” him from the ANC.
Mabine Seabe spokesman for DA leader Mmusi Maimane, was adamant the DA wasn’t violating any part of the electoral code.
“Tata Madiba was a world and African icon. His values and vision for South Africa are things all South Africans can identify him with,” said Seabe.
Although Mandela was ANC, the DA felt it was the only party that “still speaks to Tata Madiba’s values of reconciliation, nonracialism and nonsexism”.
Source: Times Live