President Ramaphosa has no choice but to come clean on DollarGate

A voicenote from the DA Federal Leader John Steenhuisen MP is attached here.

The President is facing a crisis of credibility and cannot hide behind procedural smokescreens to avoid presenting South Africans with the full truth around the money that was stolen from his farm, and the subsequent cover-up. There is no aspect of any police or other investigation that prevents him from taking the country into his confidence with a full and honest account of events. In fact, he has a special obligation to do so which no other South African has.

I would like to remind him of the words of then Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng back in 2016 when he handed down judgment in the Constitutional Court on the Nkandla matter. He had this to say about the unique and specific obligations of the President of the Republic:

“The President is the Head of State and Head of the national Executive. His is indeed the highest calling to the highest office in the land. He is the first citizen of this country and occupies a position indispensable for the effective governance of our democratic country. Only upon him has the constitutional obligation to uphold, defend and respect the Constitution as the supreme law of the Republic been expressly imposed.

The promotion of national unity and reconciliation falls squarely on his shoulders. As does the maintenance of orderliness, peace, stability and devotion to the well-being of the Republic and all of its people. Whoever and whatever poses a threat to our sovereignty, peace and prosperity he must fight. To him is the executive authority of the entire Republic primarily entrusted. He initiates and gives the final stamp of approval to all national legislation. And almost all the key role players in the realisation of our constitutional vision and the aspirations of all our people are appointed and may ultimately be removed by him.

Unsurprisingly, the nation pins its hopes on him to steer the country in the right direction and accelerate our journey towards a peaceful, just and prosperous destination, that all other progress-driven nations strive towards on a daily basis. He is a constitutional being by design, a national pathfinder, the quintessential commander-in-chief of State affairs and the personification of this nation’s constitutional project.

He is required to promise solemnly and sincerely to always connect with the true dictates of his conscience in the execution of his duties. This he is required to do with all his strength, all his talents and to the best of his knowledge and abilities. And, but for the Deputy President, only his affirmation or oath of office requires a gathering of people, presumably that they may hear and bear witness to his irrevocable commitment to serve them well and with integrity. He is after all, the image of South Africa and the first to remember at its mention on any global platform.”

Hailed as a landmark judgment, these words of Chief Justice Mogoeng were meant to change things in our country. They were to draw a line under the shady dealings of corrupt presidents who had no regard for their constitutional duty, their oath of office and the concept of accountability. Indeed, President Ramaphosa’s entire presidency has been built around the notion that he represents this change. This notion will be exposed as a myth if he chooses to remain silent now.

Too many questions remain unanswered. How much money was kept on the farm and in what currency? How much of it was stolen? How did this foreign currency get into the country? How long was it stored on the President’s property? Were the correct exchange controls observed? And does the president still hold foreign currency at his farm or any of his other properties?

Similarly, there are many unanswered questions around the handling of the robbery itself, and particularly around the failure to report it to the South African Police Service (SAPS). South Africans need to know whether the President has no faith in SAPS, or whether there were other reasons for withholding this crime from the police. South Africans also need to know whether the President paid suspects and/or witnesses for their silence, whether he had them kidnapped and interrogated and whether he used his position as head of state, as well as state resources, for his own private business and his private investigation.

Nothing less than the full truth from the President will suffice, even if this should damage his public standing, open him up to possible criminal charges and compromise his prospects of re-election at his party’s elective conference.

If all is above board, as the President claims, then a full disclosure is in both the Presidency and nation’s best interests, while failure to do so will damage both. A decision to continue hiding behind the pretext of a “pending investigation” will be seen by the public as an admission of wrongdoing, and will surely make his presidency untenable.

DA is the voice of opposition to BELA Bill in Parliament

Please find attached English and isiXhosa soundbites by Baxolile ‘Bax’ Nodada MP, and Afrikaans soundbite by Desiree van der Walt MP, DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Basic Education.

The DA welcomes the mobilization of civil society against the draconian Basic Education Laws Amendment (BELA) Bill, which seeks to enforce the ANC government’s skewed war on Afrikaans without considering the far-reaching implications on quality teaching in other indigenous languages.

The DA vows to be the Parliamentary voice opposing the BELA Bill.

The DA has extensively communicated on the problematic aspects of the BELA Bill and the ‘Lesufi clauses’ that will remove school governing bodies’ (SGBs) power to decide language and admissions policies that serves the best interests of their communities. As such, the DA will fight the BELA Bill with everything in our power and continue to oppose it in Parliament.

19 civil society organizations have sent the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, a letter highlighting all the problematic clauses of the BELA Bill. The Gauteng MEC of Education, Panyaza Lesufi, and his ANC comrades’ irrational hatred of Afrikaans and all speakers of the language will not only disadvantage them, but also mother tongue education of all indigenous languages and quality education as a whole.

The BELA Bill is another example of the ANC government putting ideology above the well-being of the people they’re meant to serve. And as national government, they’re meant to serve all the citizens of South Africa, irrespective of the language they speak.

The DA urges the public to submit their concerns in writing to Llewellyn Brown, the secretary of the parliamentary portfolio committee on basic education via email to or online at or via WhatsApp: +27 60 550 9848 by no later than 15 June 2022 at 16:00.

DA sal BELA-wetgewing in die Parlement teenstaan

Vind asseblief aangeheg ’n klankgreep van Desiree van der Walt LP, DA Skadu-adjunkminister van basiese onderwys.

Die DA verwelkom die mobilisering van burgerlike organisasies teen die drakoniese wysigingswetsontwerp op basiese onderwys (BELA), wat poog om die ANC-regering se oorlog op Afrikaans af te dwing sonder om die verrykende gevolge van gehalte-onderrig in ander inheemse tale in ag te neem.

Die DA onderneem om die stem in die Parlement te wees wat die BELA-wetgewing sal teenstaan.

Die DA het al breedvoerig gekommunikeer oor die problematiese aspekte van die BELA-wetgewing en die ‘Lesufi-klousules’ wat skoolbeheerliggame se mag sal verwyder om te besluit oor taal- en toelatingsbeleide wat in die beste belange van hul gemeenskappe is. Die DA sal die BELA-wetsontwerp met alles in ons vermoë beveg en voortgaan om dit in die Parlement teen te staan.

19 burgerlike organisasies het aan die minister van basiese onderwys, Angie Motshekga, geskryf om al die problematiese klousules van die BELA-wetsontwerp uit te lig. Die Gautengse LUR van onderwys, Panyaza Lesufi, en sy ANC-makkers se irrasionele haat vir Afrikaans en alle sprekers van die taal sal nie net die sprekers benadeel nie, maar ook moedertaalonderrig in alle inheemse tale en kwaliteit onderwys as geheel.

Die BELA-wetsontwerp is ’n sprekende voorbeeld van die ANC-regering wat ideologie bo die welstand van die mense stel wat hulle moet dien. En as nasionale regering is hulle bedoel om al die burgers van Suid-Afrika te dien, ongeag die taal wat hulle praat.

Die DA doen ’n beroep op die publiek om hul bekommernisse skriftelik te rig aan Llewellyn Brown, die sekretaris van die parlementêre portefeuljekomitee oor basiese onderwys. Hulle kan dit e-pos na; aanlyn indien by of via WhatsApp stuur: +27 60 550 9848. Alle skrywes moet teen 15 Junie 2022 om 16:00 ingedien wees.

New municipal law a victory and precedent against cadre deployment

If last year’s local government election signalled the end of the ANC’s political predominance, it also sounded a warning for public servants – the folks who are meant to serve whatever government comes to power after an election. If your career prospects rely mainly on the ANC’s patronage, you might be in trouble.

Just ask the political staffers in Joburg, whose fixed-term contracts the ANC unlawfully converted into permanent jobs just before the election. The decision was duly reversed by the city’s new council, this time under the leadership of DA mayor Mpho Phalatse. Despite a vicious fightback by the ANC aligned SA Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU), the Phalatse administration was vindicated in the Labour Court.

Even more remarkable than this victory is a concession recently made by the ANC in Parliament. Last month MPs voted unanimously to pass the Municipal Systems Amendment Bill of 2019, the closest Parliament has ever come to acknowledging and counteracting the practice of cadre deployment.

If President Cyril Ramaphosa signs the Bill into law, all municipal officials, from the municipal manager to general workers, will have a grace period of one year to resign from any elected or appointed position held in a political party. This includes chairpersons, deputy chairpersons, secretaries, and even co-opted members of party committees.

The previous Municipal Systems Amendment Act contained a similar provision, but it was limited to the municipal manager and his or her direct reports. That Act was invalidated by the Constitutional Court in 2018, after SAMWU challenged the constitutionality of the political office ban. But the Court didn’t consider SAMWU’s substantive arguments. Its decision was based on a fatal procedural flaw that Parliament had made in 2011 when the Act was passed.

And so, the SA Local Government Association (SALGA) used the opportunity of a replacement law to propose that the political office ban be extended to all municipal employees. This was a proposal that DA members on the cooperative governance committee were happy to endorse. And, thanks in no small part to the capable and even-handed chairmanship of Faith Muthambi, the DA’s formulation of the definition of ‘political office’ was taken up in the Bill.

To appreciate the significance of any law that draws a line between party and state, you have to understand that cadre deployment is not just a glitch in the ANC’s system. It is a formal policy adopted at the party’s 1997 national conference in Mafikeng, and discussed at length in the months leading up to the conference.

If those ANC discussion documents are to be believed, the party’s ambitions aren’t limited to winning elections and governing well. They extend to permanent control of all ‘levers of power’ in society, including the public service, the army, and the judiciary.

Cadre deployment was the ANC’s way of overriding the constitutional separation between party and state by assigning party agents, or ‘cadres’, to public service and constitutional positions that formally require political impartiality. Thud a disastrous train of events was set in motion, including the loss of skills and expertise in the public sector, the decay of service infrastructure, and the capture of state institutions.

The political office ban contained in the new Amendment Bill won’t bring a conclusive end to cadre deployment in municipalities, but it can stifle its implementation. Here’s one example, provided to the portfolio committee by SALGA.

A mid-level official in a rural municipality also happens to be the regional chairperson of the ANC. The mid-level official is meant to answer to the municipal manager, but in the ANC’s political pecking order the power relationship is reversed. And so, the formal authority of the municipal manager, the lesser cadre, is subordinated to that of the political boss, comrade middle-manager. This extends to appointments, tenders and other decisions legally reserved for a municipality’s ‘accounting officer’.

Under the Amendment Bill, both the comrade municipal manager and comrade middle-manager will have to choose between a party position and a municipal job. If the political boss then still tries to dictate the municipal manager’s decisions, at least he’ll be doing so from outside the institution, and without a taxpayer-funded salary.

The next logical step for Parliament will be to extend the political office ban to public servants who work in other spheres of government, which is exactly what the DA’s End Cadre Deployment Bill will seek to do. If municipal officials should not serve on the decision-making committees of political parties, why should public servants in national and provincial government be exempt from this rule?

The End Cadre Deployment Bill will serve before the public service portfolio committee on 8 June. In addition to a political office ban for public servants, the Bill will enhance the independence and the powers of the Public Service Commission to make merit-based appointments. This is not only a response to the revelations of the Zondo Commission, it’s a bold attempt to repair the damage done to state institutions by decades of one party rule.

Section 197 of the Constitution is clear about the need for a professional and politically impartial public service. It is time we bring national legislation in line with this constitutional principle, the hallmark of a capable state. The Municipal Systems Amendment Bill was the first step in that direction, and the End Cadre Deployment Bill will be the next.

How the ANC government is failing South Africa’s children

Year after year the ANC government has proven that commemoration occasions are not coupled with action.

This week, government commemorated Child Protection Week. Despite perpetual promises from government to end crimes against children, they face increasing danger in South Africa.

The ANC government is failing the children of South Africa.

  • In 2021/22, 1 009 children under 5 years died of acute malnutrition. KwaZulu-Natal has the highest number of deaths to Severe Acute Malnutrition with 187 deaths. In the Eastern Cape, 127 children died. The province with the least number of child deaths for severe acute malnutrition is the Western Cape at 15.
  • From January to March 2022, 306 children have been murdered and 1 937 were assaulted causing grievous bodily harm.
  • According to the Department of Basic Education, 46% of sexual abuse complaints are children. In 2019/20, 17 118 cases of rape were reported. This shocking number excludes the substantial amount of cases that go unreported.
  • 28.1 children per day subject to violence.

Children need to be protected at all costs. As much as Child Protection Week can be commended, we must do all in our power to protect children throughout the year.

It is clear that the ANC is failing in protecting the children of South Africa as we continue to see the numbers of these statistics grow year on year. The ANC government cannot be allowed to continue making empty promises. They must action their various plans and ensure the safety of all children.

DA to write to SARS and SARB over Ramaphosa’s mysterious US dollars

A soundbite from the DA Federal Leader John Steenhuisen MP is attached here

President Ramaphosa’s response to the criminal charges laid against him by former Spy Boss, Arthur Fraser, in relation to the alleged theft of $4 million from the President’s Limpopo farm in February 2020, raises more questions than it answers. What is most evident in this latest factional saga, is that ANC infighting, intra-party battles, and factionalism continue to dangerously destabilise the South African state.

The conclusion that each and every South African must now reach, is that the only hope of restoring stability to the South African state, and ensuring the future of our nation, is to vote the ANC out of office. We cannot allow the toxic infighting of the ANC to demolish the project of a free, democratic, and prosperous South Africa.

The Democratic Alliance will not be pulled into the ANC’s factional battles, however, we still have a duty to the Republic to ensure that even the President is not above the rule of law. There are many holes in this story that need to be filled. To this end, we will be taking several steps to get to the bottom of this issue which remains worryingly unclear.

Firstly, we will be writing to the Commissioner of the South African Revenue Service (SARS), Mr Edward Kieswetter, alerting him to this sum of money, and calling on SARS to investigate whether this sum was declared and whether it carries tax implications, as per the Income Tax Act and Tax Administration Act.

Secondly, we will be writing to the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) to ascertain whether this sum of foreign currency pertains to an illicit flow of funds and potential money laundering on the part of the President, as per the Currency and Exchanges Act of 1933. The nation deserves to know the truth behind this transaction, and the DA will ensure that this matter does not become another ANC cover up.

As part of our duty to ensure that state Presidents and former ANC leaders answer to the rule of law in South Africa, we also look forward to the Supreme Court of Appeal’s hearing of Jacob Zuma’s medical parole appeal which has now been set for 15 August 2022. In this case, we trust that the rule of law will prevail and that Arthur Fraser’s unlawful granting of medical parole to former President Jacob Zuma will send him back to jail. Whether sitting or former, the DA will not hesitate to hold any of our state presidents accountable.

South Africa can no longer be held ransom by the ANC’s incessant infighting and factional battles which have already bled out onto the streets of our nation and led to many deaths. If the ANC is the principal cause of state instability and the collapse of South Africa’s democratic project, then there is only one thing we as South Africans must do: the ANC must be voted out of office in 2024.

SA Crime Stats: The 90 day bloodbath

Please find attached soundbite by Andrew Whitfield MP.

The DA is horrified by the crime statistics for the 4th quarter of 2021/2022 which have exposed the violent bloodbath of crime that stains communities across South Africa. All South Africans are living in permanent fear that they will become the next crime statistic.

These crime statistics come at a time when 61% of South African Police Service (SAPS) members don’t believe that they are winning the fight against crime. Neither the public nor the SAPS themselves have confidence in the police to fight crime.

Time after time President Ramaphosa has promised to reduce violent crimes, but these crime stats betray that promise with almost every single category of crime increasing significantly year on year since 2018. It is now abundantly clear to the public and members of the SAPS that Minister Cele is not fit serve in his position.

According to the latest crime statistics, there were 6 083 murders between January 2022 and March 2022. That amounts to over 67 murders per day! There were 10 818 rapes in that same period which meant that 153 people were raped every single day. Despite President Ramaphosa promising a reduction in crime against women and children, murders of women and children rose by 17.5% and 37.2%, respectively.

Some other shocking crime statistics between January 2022 and March 2022 are:

  • 32 783 robberies with aggravated circumstances (364 per day)
  • 3 306 kidnappings which are up 109.2% from last period! (36.7 per day)
  • 5 402 car hijackings (60 per day)
  • 547 attempted rapes which is up 26.3% from last year (6 per day)
  • 21.5 children were violently assaulted every single day
  • Cash in transit heists increased by 26.2%

The DA believes that Minister Cele has proven time and again why he is not fit to serve in his position and yet in spite of overwhelming evidence that Minister Cele is failing, President Ramaphosa keeps him in cabinet. This is a slap in the face to the law abiding citizens of South Africa and especially to the 6 083 people who unnecessarily lost their lives due to his utter incompetence.

The DA has repeatedly called upon President Ramaphosa to fire Bheki Cele from his cabinet because the longer he remains the more violent our country is likely to become.

The current model of policing under national government is failing the people of South Africa. It is time for Parliament to have a serious discussion about decentralising the police service to improve accountability and service delivery.

The DA will therefore be tabling a motion in the National Assembly to debate the devolution of policing powers in South Africa as a solution to the ongoing failures of the national government and SAPS to reduce violent crime.

Replace failed BBBEE with DA’s Economic Justice policy

On Monday, in his weekly newsletter, President Ramaphosa came out guns blazing for BBBEE, the ANC’s approach to redressing the injustices of South Africa’s Apartheid and colonial past, saying it is “a must for growth”.

This is not just a president living in fantasyland. This is a president actively deceiving a nation. And he knows it. But he does it anyway, because BBBEE is the glue that keeps his faction-riven party from falling apart.

A radically different approach

After 19 years, it’s time to admit that BBBEE has failed and needs replacing with the DA’s Economic Justice policy, or something similar.

The DA’s Economic Justice policy differs from BBBEE in three important respects.

First, it targets the poor black majority for redress, rather than a small, connected elite. It does so by directly addressing the key drivers of inequality of opportunity rather than relying on “trickle down redress”.

Second, it prioritises cost and competence in government procurement where BBBEE allocates state contracts at inflated tender prices to companies often unable to deliver.

Third, it promotes rather than undermines economic growth by attracting rather than deterring investment.

BBBEE has failed

According to the government’s website, “the fundamental objective of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act, No. 53 of 2003, is to enhance the economic participation of black people in the South African economy”.

On Tuesday, the latest Quarterly Labour Force Survey revealed that the official broad unemployment rate amongst black South Africans in Q1 of 2022 is 50%, up from 36% in Q1 of 2008.

This equates to a doubling of the number of unemployed black South Africans from 5,7 million to 11,3 million during the past 14 years. (2008 is the earliest year that StatsSA gives employment data for.)

The fact is, after 19 years of so-called “broad-based” BEE, inequality and black poverty are at record highs and there are more black people locked out of the economy than ever before.

Of course, the black unemployment rate and the black poverty rate are not the only measures of black economic participation. But they are surely the most important.

BBBEE has so obviously failed in its fundamental objective of achieving broad economic inclusion for the black majority.

Profound harm

Worse still, it has profoundly harmed this group.

Nineteen years down the line, it is now clear that BBBEE has enriched a small number of politically connected individuals – of all races – at the expense of the black majority.

It has done so by giving connected individuals/companies preferential access to lucrative government contracts at inflated tender prices, and without sufficient regard for whether these individuals/companies are able to deliver.

This actively and disproportionately harms the poor black majority who most suffer the consequences of inefficient and ineffective state spending, since they are most dependent on the state.

The DA is resolute that cost and competence must take priority in government procurement. Over-priced and unfulfilled or badly delivered contracts hurt the poor black majority because that is the group most reliant on government services.

BBBEE, operating in tandem with cadre deployment, is the mechanism whereby R1.5 trillion was lost to state capture and R14 billion to covid-related PPE theft, and whereby R238 000 was paid for a wooden mop, as Eskom reported last year. Inflated tender prices are not the exception; they are the norm.

Hence, not only has economic disadvantage been perpetuated for the black majority, but the gap has widened.

BBBEE has also harmed the black majority by deterring investment.

A must for growth?

The only thing that grows an economy is investment in productive enterprises. BBBEE is a major obstacle to this, not only because compliance is difficult and costly, but because it has engendered a corrupt, patronage-driven, incapable state.

In 2016, the EU Chamber of Commerce in South Africa indicated BBBEE legislation as its top legislative impediment, and top three challenge overall to doing business in South Africa.

The DA’s Economic Justice policy, on the other hand, bases preferential government procurement on the globally recognised Sustainable Development Goals model, choosing competent companies that make a positive socioeconomic contribution to the poor black majority.

This model promotes investment, because investors, shareholders, and analysts look for companies with strong SDG awareness and commitments. Rather than being deterred by the BBBEE model, investors are attracted by the SDG model.

Broad-based transformation requires growth

As President Ramaphosa correctly pointed out in his newsletter on Monday: Economic transformation and economic growth are intertwined. There cannot be one without the other.

Growth is essential for two things:

  • Job creation on a massive scale to bring millions of black people into the South African economy; and
  • Growing access to opportunities (education, health, housing, transport, electricity, safety, communication, grants, title deeds) for the poor black majority by spending growing tax revenues disproportionately on this group. These are the opportunities which enable people to participate in the economy.

Whereas BBBEE is anti-growth and exclusive, the DA’s Economic Justice policy is pro-growth and inclusive.


South Africa desperately needs a radically different approach to redress and inclusion. We can win the fight against our deeply unequal, unjust past. But the only way to do it is to ensure economic opportunities are available to all, not just the elite. The DA’s Economic Justice policy does that. Our approach to broad-based transformation will succeed where BBBEE has failed.

Public Protector wastes taxpayers’ millions on defending her incompetence

Please find attached soundbite by Adv Glynnis Breytenbach MP.

The DA will write to the Solicitor-General, Fhedzisani Pandelani, to determine the exact costs that have been incurred in litigation by the Public Protector, Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane, after it has come to light that she has wasted more than R67 million of her office’s budget on legal costs defending her incompetence over the past two years.

A written response to the parliamentary portfolio committee on justice dated 31 May 2022, revealed that the Public Protector has spent R67 122 771 in the 2020 to 2022 financial years to defend reports taken on judicial review and legal costs relating to her impeachment process – R38 878 530 in 2020/21 and R28 244 241 in 2021/22.

Instead of using the Public Protector’s budget as mandated to investigate complaints from the public, it is being wasted on defending Mkhwebane’s incompetence. Had this money not been wasted on these frivolous endeavours, the budget constraint issues within the office of the Public Protector would be greatly alleviated, and important matters may have received the attention they deserve.

It is time the Public Protector stopped wasting public money on defending herself rather than protecting the people of South Africa.

Is Minister Mthethwa throwing the management of the Afrikaanse Taalmonument under the bus?

Please find attached English and Afrikaans soundbites by Veronica van Dyk MP.

The DA is concerned that Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa may be trying to throw the management of the Afrikaanse Taalmuseum en -monument under the bus for acting on his instruction to remove Afrikaanse from the name of the Monument.

Following a public outcry and fierce resistance from the DA, Minister Mthethwa seems to be trying to change his tune in order to distance himself from the crisis his irresponsible instruction triggered.

According to a reply from Simion Nkanunu, Cabinet and Parliamentary Officer in the Department of Sports, Arts, and Culture (DSAC), to the DA’s request to see the agreement between the Minister and the Afrikaanse Taalmonument regarding the proposal to remove Afrikaans from the name, “there is no agreement ever existed between the Minister and the Board of the Afrikaanse Taalmonument. [sic]”

Nkanunu further complained that “It is very much disturbing that the Department/Minister’s office continuously gets dragged into rumuors or unverified information…”

The suggestion that the Minister’s instruction to remove Afrikaans from the name is based on “rumours” directly contradicts an earlier statement issued by the Afrikaanse Taalmonument, which confirmed that Minister Mthethwa “on 10 March 2022 said in Pretoria that the ATM’s name must change. This was during the annual signing ceremony of the shareholder compact agreement between the department and all heads and chairs of the public entities that fall under his portfolio.”

It seems that the Minister did indeed order the Afrikaanse Taalmonument to change its name, which led to the consultation process that the Taalmonument has undertaken regarding the feasibility of a name change. Now that the public has strongly united alongside the DA in opposing this ludicrous proposal, the Minister is trying to shirk responsibility and accountability.

Following the embarrassing defeat of his vanity flag project of R22 million in the face of overwhelming public outrage, the Minister is clearly scared of facing the same backlash for this ludicrous idea to change the Afrikaanse Taalmuseum’s name.

Since the Minister denies ordering the Afrikaanse Taalmonument to change its name, the DA now calls on him to make a public statement reassuring the public and the management of the Taalmonument that no name change will be expected or enforced.