South African anger over flag-burning voting ad

South Africa’s main opposition party is facing criticism over an election ad that depicts the national flag engulfed in flames.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) campaign message released on Sunday was published on various social media platforms.

Although it is not illegal to burn the flag in South Africa, some people have called for the ad to be withdrawn, saying it is offensive to destroy a symbol of unity.

But the DA’s office defended it, saying it wanted to emphasize its argument that the country is in trouble.

The ad shows the national flag ablaze and a voiceover warns that “life is only going to get worse” under the African National Congress (ANC), which has been in power since 1994.

The flag burning is then canceled when the Speaker urges voters to support their MPs.

“This election is an election for survival,” he said, ending with the flag being replenished and returning to its original shape.

With just over three weeks left until the general election, opinion polls suggest the ANC could lose its parliamentary majority for the first time in the country’s democratic era.

During the election campaign, the president cyril ramaphosa While he acknowledged there are problems, he also emphasized the changes the country has made over the past 30 years.

The ANC led the struggle against white minority rule and the legalized racism known as apartheid.

“South Africans are better educated, more empowered and healthier than they were under apartheid,” Ramaphosa said, calling on people not to threaten that progress.

The DA’s ad has angered some South Africans who accuse the party of desecrating the national flag to highlight the challenges facing the nation.

“It is unwise to burn our national flag. For many of us the flag is more than just a flag, it is a symbol of our victory over apartheid, but this seems to show disrespect and disloyalty towards the flag,” said the ex. Public Protector Thuli Madonsela posted on X.

Other social media users have called on the DA to withdraw the “inconsiderate” ad, saying the party has a responsibility beyond winning elections.

Addressing the media on Sunday, DA leader John Steenhuisen said the ad “symbolizes the future that awaits South Africa if people do not vote for the DA”.

“This is our fourth ad and I’m surprised no one has commented on the other ads,” DA official Ashour Sarpen told the Daily Maverick News website.

Clayson Monela, an official at South Africa’s Department of Foreign Affairs, said public anger over the ad was “completely justified” and warned it could “de-motivate voters and fuel apathy”.

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