Zille appropriates Mandela’s legacy

Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille on Saturday told voters hers was the only party that could make Nelson Mandela’s vision of a better life for all South Africans come true.

“We are the party that’s been working hard to build Madiba’s vision,” she told a few thousand supporters in Khayelitsha on the Cape Flats at the DA’s last rally here before Wednesday’s local government elections.

Zille quoted Mandela’s famous speech from the Rivonia trial and said as he vowed to fight against both white and black domination, the DA was trying to unite South Africa and relieve poverty while the ANC played race politics.

“The DA vision is the same vision that Nelson Mandela had spoken about in that dock in the Rivonia trial,” she said in a speech delivered in a mix of English, Xhosa, Afrikaans and Sotho phrases.

DA MPs Wilmot James and Lindiwe Masibuko also referred to Mandela’s legacy, with James saying of the ruling party: “They are no longer building Mandela’s dream.”

“The ANC started Mandela’s job but the ANC are slashing it.”

The DA chose to stage its final rally in the township where it suffered a public relations disaster for failing to enclose toilets.

On Sunday, the ANC will also hold its final Western Cape rally in Khayelitsha.

Zille received a warm welcome and danced with supporters at length after taking to the stage.

She hammered home the central campaign message that the DA “improves people’s lives wherever we govern”, while Cape Town mayoral candidate Patrica de Lille promised to deliver services to all “backyarders” if the party won an outright majority in the May 18 vote.

“If I win I will roll out services to all the people in our backyards,” De Lille said.

She appealed to voters to come out in force in the city it has governed since 2006, adding that “the race is very close out there”.

She urged her supporters to go the polls, saying it was a race where every single vote counted as the DA tries to retain control of the Mother City.

Zille brushed off ANC mayoral candidate Tony Ehrenreich’s remarks this week that he would want to work with the DA whether he wins the mayor’s seat or not.

“The ANC always wants to be in government whether it wins or loses. If you don’t win, you cannot be in government,” she said. — Sapa

For exclusively M&G articles and multimedia on the local government elections 2011 click here:

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