JONATHAN JANSEN | The DA has stooped to new lows of election hypocrisy
The party’s election posters in the racial tinderbox of Phoenix are callous and irresponsible
The DA’s election posters put up in Phoenix are mind-numbingly stupid. “The ANC called you racists” followed by “We call you heroes”. The ANC did no such thing. Nor did the DA hail the members of this predominantly Indian community as heroes. The reference of course is to the July riots when a group of armed vigilantes in Phoenix manned roadblocks, apparently to protect their lives and homes from marauding looters in the area. The records show that 36 people died in and around Phoenix including three Indians; nationwide, 337 people died.
What makes those posters dangerous is that they fan the flames of racial hatred. There has been some excellent investigatory reporting on what actually happened in Phoenix. We now know that Indian lives and homes were not the targets of the looters. We know that in Phoenix, surrounded by African townships, the July riots ignited memories of historical feuds (1949, Durban; 1985, Inanda) between the two communities. We know that voice notes were making the rounds in the jittery Indian community that “the Zulus are coming”...