DA's Trollip hits back at ANC over use of Mandela's name
Athol Trollip says the ANC must grow up if it thinks it's the only organisation that can use Madiba’s legacy.
JOHANNESBURG/PORT ELIZABETH - The names and legacies of former presidents are still dominating the elections agenda, as Thabo Mbeki prepares to meet some African National Congress mayoral candidates this morning and the Democratic Alliance (DA) defends its use of Nelson Mandela's name.
The DA's mayoral candidate for Nelson Mandela Bay, Athol Trollip, says the ANC must grow up if it thinks it's the only organisation that can use Madiba's legacy.
The DA's local government election campaign is largely angled on the party being the one staying true to the late former president's vision for the country.
Trollip is leading the party's bid to wrest control of the hotly-contested Nelson Mandela Bay Metro from the ANC in tomorrow's elections.
The DA's strategy has angered the ANC, which has accused the official opposition of exploiting Mandela's name to attract black voters.
But Trollip says there is nothing wrong with asking people to honour Madiba by voting for the DA.
"There is nothing wrong and there shouldn't be anything wrong. In all the African countries, their liberation fathers and mothers are revered and idolized by everybody but now the ANC wants Mandela to themselves. They must grow up and get a life man."
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has become the latest ANC member to lash the DA over the use of Madiba's name, claiming the official opposition was doing so because it's morally, ethically and intellectually bankrupt.
The ANC's Khusela Sangoni responded to those claims this morning.
"It's really ridiculous though. Comrade Nelson Mandela was an icon of our struggle, the father of our nation and the president of the African National Congress."
ANC, EFF AND MBEKI
The focus of the local government elections moves again to Mbeki's house this morning, who will meet with the ANC's mayoral candidates for Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni and Tshwane.
Parks Tau, Mzwandile Masina and Thoko Didiza will meet with the former president.
Several commentators have said the results in Tshwane and Johannesburg could hinge on voters who supported the ANC during the Mbeki era, but are critical of President Jacob Zuma.
Mbeki met and publicly embraced the leadership of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) yesterday.
The ANC's Gwede Mantashe has responded to the meeting, saying the party does not have a problem with its leadership meeting anyone, including the opposition.
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"Our approach to leadership is that they can meet anyone and we must not stop them from meeting everybody."
Mantashe says there's nothing extraordinary about the former president meeting with the EFF as they requested to do so.
"He can't run away. He must meet with them if needs be."
However, EFF leader Julius Malema says he's hopeful that yesterday's visit to Mbeki will persuade him to vote for the red berets.
Security officials around the country are making their final preparations for tomorrow.
The president has formally deployed the South African National Defence Force to help the police.
At the same time, Cooperative Governance Minister Des Van Rooyen says over 40 meetings have been held in the Vuwani area, Limpopo, and he is confident safe elections will take place there.
Over twenty schools were damaged or burnt there as residents vented their anger over changes to municipal boundaries.
Van Rooyen says most leaders agree to a peaceful process, but a small group remains defiant.
"We are convinced that we are dealing with people who are hell-bent to derange the democratic process."