Have you ever put up a campaign poster so offensive, it led to an online campaign calling for you to be removed from the ballot of an upcoming election? Because the DA has done exactly that in Phoenix, KZN…

The IEC is highly unlikely to grant the request – but it shows just how cheesed off some voters really are.

DA poster in Phoenix: A step too far?

On Tuesday, we broke the news of a controversial set of posters that were put up in the town. Three months ago, Phoenix was brought to its knees by riots and looting, and vigilante violence also broke out. Up to 20 civilians were killed when citizens took the law into their own hands here – and racial tensions fuelled the hatred further.

Almost 100 days later, the DA has – according to some – stoked up divisions and frustrations in Phoenix once more. They have put up several posters, which simply read: “The ANC calls you racists, the DA calls you heroes.”

Yikes. The implications of this have been hotly debated over the past 24 hours, with many critics saying that the poster offers its support to the who claimed lives during the July Riots. It’s also seen as a subtle reference to a small minority of the local Indian community, some of whom played a big role in acts of vigilantism.

John Steenhuisen responds to ‘racism claims’

Party leader John Steenhuisen, however, has defended the DA’s contentious advertisement:

“There were black, white, coloured, AND Indian citizens who stood on their barricades when this government retreated in the face of violence… I disagree that it was a majority of Indians who killed looters in Phoenix.”

“Let’s be specific about the ANC and who they called racist. The Indian community has been stereotyped in Phoenix. Yes, there were some vigilantes – and they were NOT my heroes – but the heroes in that situation were the South Africans who stood on the front line and upheld the rule of law. The ANC are the ones calling all Indians racists.”

Phoenix posters: Calls to ‘remove DA from the ballot’ surface online

Histrionics aside, the DA may have to face up to the fact that they have pushed some people a little too far: A vocal minority online have used their platforms to suggest that the Blues should be removed from the ballot paper altogether, just weeks before the 2021 Elections take place, due to the offensive nature of the campaign posters.

John Steenhuisen and his supporters may want to look away now…

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