Bizarre South African election campaign sees Cork city suburb get international attention

A number of typo-ridden billboards have been erected in South Africa ahead of an upcoming election, resulting in unexpected international attention for a suburb in the southside of Cork city.

A sign from the African National Congress (ANC) in Nelson Mandela Bay has misspelled the party's campaign slogan, 'Let’s grow South Africa together', instead telling voters: 'Let’s grow South Africa Togher'.

The poster also shows an image of the ANC's Cyril Ramaphosa, the fifth and current President of South Africa

South African YouTuber Renaldo Gouws pointed out the mistake on social media yesterday, leading to many in the nation discovering the existence of Cork's own Togher.

News website also highlighted the billboard's connection to Cork in a tongue-in-cheek article.

"Togher, a parish of Cork in the south of the country, is popular for giving the world former Manchester United full-back Denis Irwin, racewalking olympian Robert Heffernan and… *checks notes*… the world’s largest bingo card.

"With a history like that, it’s perhaps understandable why the ANC are so keen to put Togher on the map," it said.

It has led to much mirth on our own shores, with Sinn Féin TD and Togher resident Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire leading the Irish reactions on social media.

In a statement, the ANC blamed its service provider for the error and said the party "will not allow a human error that was made by a service provider to derail us," criticising its opposition for focusing on the mistake.

"This error has been used by opposition in an attempt to discredit the work of the ANC. This, to us, is a sign that opposition parties do not have anything to offer voters as we approach the May 8 general election and as such, they have resorted to focusing their campaigns on minor errors attributed to the ANC."

The party said it will remove the misspelled billboards immediately.

We consider this a very minor and insignificant setback to our campaign and will ensure the immediate removal of the billboard, which will, in turn, kill the campaign of the opposition.

With all this free advertising, perhaps Fáilte Ireland should be preparing the people of Togher, and Cork, for an increase in South African tourism.

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