DA leader John Steenhuisen has reacted to the resignation of the party’s Ekurhuleni campaign manager Mike Waters, saying he was well within his rights to do so.

Steenhuisen was on the campaign trail in Ekurhuleni on Tuesday, 12 October.

Waters quit from the DA as he wasn’t pleased with how it handled the recent Phoenix poster fiasco.

Steenhuisen unfazed by DA stalwart’s resignation

When John Steenhuisen was quizzed about how he felt about Waters’ sudden decision to leave, especially during such a critical time for the DA, he said they move on regardless and focus on service delivery.

“It is his decision to resign; I cannot force people’s hands to stay. This is a voluntary association, we do not shackle people to positions. People come and go in politics all the time, across all political parties. The job moves on and our focus is on service delivery.”

DA leader John Steenhuisen

Waters, a founding member of both the Democratic Party and DA, resigned in a fiery letter addressed to the leadership.

“As a founding member of both the Democratic Party and the DA, I am shocked and horrified by the weakness displayed by my party this week over the Phoenix poster matter,” he said.

While he has apologised for the timing of his resignation, Waters said he couldn’t continue campaigning for the party.

“The party’s grovelling apology and decision to take down these posters is appalling and a betrayal of the heroes who defended lives during the period of violence and looting,”

Former DA Ekurhuleni campaign manager Mike Waters

The DA was forced to apologise after some backlash to its posters.

The posters read “The ANC calls you racists, the DA calls you heroes.”  – this is in reference to the violence which broke out in the area back in July. This sparked a wave of fury online and even from the ANC in KZN, who have deemed the posters as divisive and racist.

At least 36 people were killed when vigilantes clashed with suspected looters during the unrest. Racial tensions between Black and Indian community members erupted during the mayhem in the area.

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