DA using Life Esidimeni tragedy ‘for its own political gain’

DA using Life Esidimeni tragedy ‘for its own political gain’

Family members of the victims of the Life Esidimeni tragedy have accused the Democratic Alliance (DA) of using the deaths for their own political gain. 

DA Billboard

The opposition party launched the #TheANCIsKillingSA campaign in the Johannesburg CBD on Wednesday.

At the event, DA leader Mmusi Maimane read out the names of victims who had lost their lives in the Marikana massacre, the Life Esidimeni tragedy, and children who had died after falling into pit toilets.

The names of the victims also appear on the billboard.

The DA has since received backlash in some quarters, with people saying the campaign is in bad taste.

ALSO READ:SIU to probe Life Esidimeni tragedy

Spokesperson for family members of the Life Esidimeni deceased, Christine Nxumalo, says the campaign "is actually a sad thing".

"Because they did not consult us or even discuss or inform us or let us know that they were going to be doing this. What makes it sad is they could go as far as printing out names on a billboard. In all the years that I have been living never have I seen names of diseased people, especially through a tragedy, printed on a billboard.”

She says DA did not consider the emotional toll the campaign would take on the victim’s families.

"What they were considering in the process is what this was doing to the loved ones of the deceased, they did not consider the tragedy, the pain, the struggle and everything they had to get through to get to this point."

Nxumalo says she cannot believe that Maimane does not see the error of the party’s ways. 

"A so-called leader does not see what it is that is being pointed out makes it even more sad."

 Nxumalo says the families will be approaching the South African Human Rights Commission and the Independent Electoral Commission to demand the billboard’s removal.

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