South Africa’s opposition launches campaign ahead of next year vote.

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DA (Democratic Alliance) leader Mmusi Maimane greets supporters as he arrives at a rally in Johannesburg, on September 22, 2018 for the launch of the electoral campaign ahead of South Africa’s presidential election in 2019. / AFP PHOTO / MARCO LONGARI

South Africa’s largest opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA) on Saturday launched its campaign ahead of highly contested elections due next year.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane told several thousands of supporters dressed in the party color blue at an open space in a poor section of Johannesburg’s CBD, that the campaign “will be our most ambitious election campaign yet”.

He took a jibe at the ruling ANC which has governed the country since the dawn of democracy in 1994 saying it had let down South Africans while it allowed corruption to fester.

“Every promise this government has made has turned out to be an empty promise. After two decades of freedom, our people are still no closer to being free.

“The South Africa I see today looks nothing like the vision of the South Africa I saw in 1994. It doesn’t look anywhere near and it looks like we are moving away from it.”

“What was a dream is fast becoming a nightmare,” he told cheering supporters.

He promised to “fix this government; I want to fix South Africa”.

“Only one party takes clean, corruption-free government seriously, and that is the DA,” he said.

The DA, which has already reduced the ANC’s election majority during the 2016 local government vote, will seek to erode its support further at the general election due between May and August of next year

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