Ramaphosa says flag burning in ad ‘treason’


Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa labeled the DA’s election campaign advertisement, in which a South African flag is burned, as “treason”.

“Regarding the burning of the flag – even in a political advertisement it is treason,” Ramaphosa told reporters in Limpopo.

“It is despicable that a political party, while wanting to express itself, can burn the symbol of our unity, the symbol of our existence as a nation,” he said.

In the ad, the national flag can be seen burning, with a voice saying: “For the first time in 30 years, the ANC will lose its majority… imagine a coalition between the ANC, the violent EFF and the Zuma- faction”.

“Our flag holds deep meaning for the nation as it represents the hard-won freedoms and peace achieved through the historic struggle against injustice,” Ramaphosa’s office said in a separate statement.

Culture Minister Zizi Kodwa said he would consider taking further action “against the hideous and unpatriotic political advertisement”.

However, the DA hit back and condemned Ramaphosa’s remarks. According to John Steenhuisen, DA leader, Ramaphosa distorts the obvious meaning of the advertisement by claiming that it is the DA that “wants to destroy South Africa”.

“Contrary to Ramaphosa’s desperate lies, the message of the ad is that it is the corrupt ANC, as well as its allies in the EFF and MK party, who are out to destroy South Africa.

“Such a doomsday coalition between the ANC, the EFF and other looters will not only set our flag on fire, it will burn our constitutional democracy to ashes.”

Steenhuisen believes it is clear that the DA’s advertisement has struck a nerve within the ANC.

“In light of his latest lies and the fact that Ramaphosa recently shied away from an invitation to a presidential debate requested by News24, I now personally challenge him to a face-to-face debate to not only defending his disgraceful record in office, but also about his planned formation of a doomsday coalition to avoid accountability after the ANC lost its majority on 29 May.

“The president should stop acting like a political commentator and come and debate his opposition if he is so shocked. Mr. President, name the time and place and I will gladly expose how you and the ANC set South Africa on fire.”