Political party T-shirts were burnt by apparent defectors to the Minority Front (MF) at the party’s manifesto launch in KwaZulu-Natal on Saturday.
“We didn’t force it. It was their way of showing they were fed up [with their old parties],” said Jonathan Annipen, confirming the veracity of a video clip doing the rounds.
This took place at a rally at the Rajput Hall in Chatsworth, Durban, where the party was launching its manifesto for the elections on May 8.
He said party leader Shameen Thakur-Rajbansi, a member of the legislature in KwaZulu-Natal, and the widow of former MF and National People’s Party Amichand Rajbansi, received a rousing welcome at the launch.
“Several members of other political parties defected from their parties to join the Minority Front,” he said.
“As a show of support and a display of distance with other political parties at their own volition they decided to tear their shirts and went outside and burnt them.”
The T-shirts were from the DA, ANC and EFF, he said.
“As a party ourselves we didn’t burn those shirts.”
He said the party was previously associated with being pro-Indian due to the political mood when it was formed, but has evolved to be more inclusive.
He said questions raised at Saturday’s rally showed that people are politically conscious and aware.
He said that people are tired of feeling left out.
They are hoping to increase their presence in the KwaZulu-Natal legislature beyond the seat Thakur-Rajbansi holds, and get two seats in the National Assembly.
Comment on whether it was against the Electoral Code of Conduct to burn another party’s T-shirt was not immediately available, but the code does specifically prohibit damaging another party’s election posters.
This article was originally posted on News 24.