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JOHANNESBURG (AP) Tis the season to be jolly jolly critical, that is in the South African city of Cape Town.

The mayor, Patricia de Lille, is being criticized for encouraging people to mark the holiday season by writing personal messages to Nelson Mandela. The messages are being collected at a Cape Town exhibition honoring the former South African president, and will be sent to Mandela in three weeks.

De Lille belongs to the opposition Democratic Alliance. A labor group with links to the ruling African National Congress, which Mandela used to lead, says she's trying to gain support by associating the DA with the revered anti-apartheid leader.

The Congress of South African Trade Unions accuses de Lille of engaging in "ridiculous gimmicks."