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Rise Mzansi Premier Candidate accuses DA leader of racist remarks amid escalating tensions in Western Cape

[Photo: News24 | Gallo Images]

Azra Hoosen |
23 April 2024 | 15:00 CAT
2 min read

Tensions flare between Rise Mzansi and the DA as accusations of racism surface. Rise Mzansi’s Western Cape premier candidate Axolile Notywala accuses DA leader John Steenhuisen of racist remarks, prompting a heated exchange. Steenhuisen fires back, likening Rise Mzansi’s behavior to that of the ANC.

During the launch of the DA’s Western Cape manifesto, Steenhuisen referred to emerging opposition parties like Rise Mzansi as “political mercenaries” and derided them as “popcorn parties” aiming to exploit the province for personal gain. Tensions escalated following the widespread distribution of an SMS by the DA criticising Rise Mzansi’s position on land expropriation.

Notywala opposes the DA and John Steenhuisen’s characterisation of Rise Mzansi as ‘political mercenaries’ and accusations of corruption.

He rejects the notion that such remarks are merely part of political discourse, stating he takes personal offence and categorises it as ‘dog whistle politics.’

“I take serious offence to that,” Notywala declares, emphasising the gravity of the allegations.

In an interview with Radio Islam, Notywala remarked that the DA perceives Rise Mzansi as a threat, which is evident in the public attacks they have launched against them.

“Also, we have seen they started what I can only call a smear campaign, with SMSs and emails they have been sending to their supporters, as well as spreading misinformation about some of the leaders and policy positions of Rise Mzansi to try and persuade some of the potential voters who would have been likely to vote for us,” he said.

Notywala highlighted that while maintaining a realistic outlook on their prospects, they are witnessing significant shifts occurring in the Western Cape.

“The reality is that the 2024 National government elections is just the beginning for us. What we want now is to get into the legislatures across the country because we are contesting in all 9 provinces and to have a footing in the national assembly. Us being in governance doesn’t necessarily mean we must be in government; many of us can play a huge role in the Western Cape,” he said.

Rise Mzansi emphasises that a significant aspect of their agenda entails focusing on leadership, governance, and effective implementation.

“Hence, we continue to say we need new leaders. We have one of the most diverse groups in terms of leadership,” he added.

Notywala underscores that a fundamental issue lies in the persistent division across the province, encompassing class, race, and spatial injustice. Additionally, he emphasises the impact of divisions between various levels of government on service delivery on the ground.

He expressed anticipation for the forthcoming elections in the years ahead.

LISTEN to the full interview with Ml Sulaimaan Ravat and Rise Mzansi’s Axolile Notywala, here.



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