DA defends billboard with Marikana, Life Esidimeni victims

DA election billboard
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The Democratic Alliance’s Federal Chairperson, Athol Trollip, says there is nothing wrong that the party has done in unveiling its election billboard.

The billboard has the names of mineworkers who were killed in Marikana and mentally-ill patients who died in the Life Esidimeni tragedy.

The billboard has provoked public outrage with some accusing the DA of using the two tragedies for political gain and without getting the families consent.

Trollip, who is on an election campaign trail in Limpopo, says the two tragedies were public knowledge long before the DA unveiled the billboard.

He has received a resounding welcome from members of the party who were waiting for him at the party’s provincial headquarters in Polokwane. He has urged potential voters to go and register and check their voting status at IEC’s polling stations on the 26th and 27th of January.

Trollip is confident that his party can deliver better service in Limpopo than the current government.

Defending the DA’ stance to put the names of those who died in Marikana and Life Esidemeni without getting the permission of their families, he says,  “The biggest insensitivity is to allow people to die when they were on a state of absolutely dependents on the state. Some people have posted on Twitter that we did not get the permission to name those people, but those people have been named on newspapers over the couple of years. Everyone of them have been named. There have been commissions where those people’s names were brought up. Life Esidemeni and the killing of mineworkers, that is not a secret they have been named before. But just because we have named it, it suddenly becomes a problem.”

The former Executive Mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay Metro in the Eastern Cape says police, teachers and emergency personnel are underpaid and under-resourced. He says under the DA government, all that will change.

“First of all, we believe that our police officers are under resourced and we believe police are underpaid and under trained. So, we believe we must employ more police and they must be professionally trained and they must be paid appropriately. Police and teachers are some of the worst paid in this country and you will (realize) in successful nations policemen, emergency personnel and teachers are well paid because they are an essential service.”

Meanwhile Limpopo DA leader and Premier candidate, Jacque Smallle says all ports on entries in the province are porous and do not have enough resources to deal will immigration. He says if the DA wins the upcoming elections, they will strengthen the border fence and ensure that there are enough resources to deal with illegal immigration.

“We have visited each and every border post on the Limpopo border, between Limpopo and Mozambique; Limpopo and Zimbabwe; Limpopo and Botswana. Apart from Zimbabwe that has got scanners, none of the border have scanners. So, even if you come with a truck with illicit goods in it, you can’t even scan it. Our people are totally under resourced in many ways than one, you will see.”

The IEC will open polling on the 26th and 27th for people to register and check their voting status for the upcoming elections. The weekend will be the last round of registration before the elections.


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