DA billboard naming Life Esidimeni and Marikana victims vandalised


The DA billboard in Johannesburg listing the names of children who died after falling into pit latrines and the victims of the Marikana and Life Esidimeni tragedies was vandalised on Thursday.

The DA faced a backlash after some felt the billboard — which attacks the ANC — was "insensitive". The billboard was part of the launch of the DA's #TheANCIsKillingSA campaign in the run-up to this year's election.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane read out the names of victims on Wednesday at the launch.

In response‚ the ANC said the DA was jealous of the liberation party’s changing fortunes‚ which indicated positive sentiment about the party heading into the general election in May. The ruling party also accused the DA of spreading lies‚ claiming the party contravened the IEC electoral code and that it would take legal action.

Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba hinted that ANC members might be behind the damage.

DA spokesperson Solly Malatsi said vandalising the billboard was "tarnishing the memory of those who died under an ANC government".

"This act of destruction is an insult to the memories of the people who died during the avoidable Esidimeni tragedy‚ Marikana murders and pit toilet deaths‚" Malatsi said.

"The vandalism of this billboard cannot hide the fact that the ANC is directly responsible for the deaths of countless South Africans due to their callous negligence."