DA notes Patricia de Lille’s application to the Cape High Court

The Democratic Alliance (DA) notes Patricia de Lille’s application to the Cape High Court.

We view this as yet more publicity seeking from a person whose flailing election campaign has nothing to offer, other than repeated attacks on the DA. We will not stoop to her level. Our focus is on the voters of South Africa who deserve change that builds One South Africa for All. Change where corruption and maladministration is not tolerated.

The simple fact of the matter was that Patricia de Lille was in effect fired from the DA, by having 3 successful motions of confidence against her by her own caucus. It is fair comment in the political realm to thus describe her departure from the DA in these terms.

We have already sought a review of the IEC “directive” on the basis that the IEC lacked any legal power to issue such a directive, the inconsistency and a lack of impartiality on the part of the IEC, and because it was wrong to uphold the complaint on its merits.

Over the course of the past few months, the DA has laid numerous complaints with the IEC where there have been clear prima facie violations by political parties. Despite the gravity of these complaints, they appear to have not received any attention or the requisite urgency.

Such complaints include:

  • A complaint laid against the ANC for inciting violence in Alex for narrow and dangerous electioneering;
  • Most recently, a complaint against the ANC and Ace Magashule for offering money for votes in Cape Town over the weekend.
  • A complaint against Faith Mazibuko for using combi courts to win votes:
  • A complaint laid against the ACDP for buying votes using food parcels;
  • A complaint laid against the ANC and Ebrahim Rasool for making outrageous false statements regarding water contracts in the City of Cape Town.

The IEC has been disturbingly inconsistent and lethargic in dealing with complaints brought before it for urgent investigation that threaten the free and fair status of the upcoming general election.

The IEC must not allow itself to be used as a political football for Ms De Lille’s naked attempts at relevance in this Election. Our country desperately needs change that rid itself of corruption and builds One South Africa for All.

We will not allow for the genuine desire of South Africans for change to be frustrated by anyone or any institution.

South Africa needs free and fair elections on 08 May.

Only the DA has a plan to reintroduce rural safety units

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in North West again reiterates our call to bring back SAPS Rural Safety units – specifically after a second fatal farm attack took place in one week within the JB Marks area.

The second attack during the Easter weekend was fatal. A farmworker was found tied up and murdered in a farmhouse outside town.

The police did not reveal his name as his next of kin has not been notified. It is clear the perpetrators tried to break open a safe in the house but could not succeed.

This murder follows the brutal attack on the Coetzee family on their Vyfhoek farm.

During this attack, Marlu (9) was attacked and injured and had to undergo surgery. His dad Mario was left with serious head injuries. Mario’s mother and grandmother to Marlo, Nellie was hit with a torch and had to get stitches.

The attack that took place before Easter weekend was witnessed by Marlu’s sister Marize (7) who is also severely traumatised by the attack.

The reality, millions of people residing in rural communities are under siege due to violent and vicious crimes due to a failing police service presided over by a failing ANC government.

The ANC has lost the fight against crime and our rural areas are becoming war zones. Farmers and farmworkers are sitting ducks and the ANC simply ignore their plight.

The DA is on record, numerous times, calling for a police service that is well-resourced, well-trained and capable to fight all levels of crime in our communities. The DA is the only party that has a plan to fix our country and will overhaul the police service and ensures that residents of North West, especially those living on farms or in the rural areas, are protected and feel safe in their own homes

Unlike the ANC, the DA is not ashamed to reveal its Premier candidates

Seven months ago the DA proudly announced its candidate for Premier for each of the nine provinces. And I say “proudly” because we have complete faith in the people we put forward for these crucial positions.

We know that each of these nine candidates has the skills, the commitment and the track record to perform the duties of a provincial Premier. They emerged as the DA’s preferred candidates after a rigorous selection process, and from shortlists that contained many other highly qualified people.

We have assembled, in our nine Premier candidates, a group of leaders that is truly diverse in terms of age, race and gender. They reflect not only our diverse and growing party, but also our commitment to building One South Africa for All.

We announced their candidacy seven months ago because it is important that voters know exactly who they get when they cast a vote for the DA. We want people to be able to research and interrogate our candidates. We want people to study their past performances. We want people to make informed decisions at the ballot box.

For the past seven months, Solly Msimanga, Alan Winde, Andrew Louw, Nqaba Bhanga, Jane Sithole, Joe McGluwa, Zwakele Mncwango, Patricia Kopane and Jacques Smalle have been on the road in their respective provinces, campaigning as the candidate for Premier. Voters have had hundreds of opportunities to engage with them on issues that affect their communities, and to grill them on party policy.

That’s how you run a campaign based on transparency and accountability. That’s how you run a campaign when you trust the ability and commitment of your candidates.

Now compare this with the ANC’s campaign. Who is their candidate for Premier here in the Western Cape? Who is their candidate in Gauteng? Or the Northern Cape, or Limpopo, or KZN, or any of the other provinces? Voters have absolutely no idea who they are voting for in the ANC.

They want people to blindly vote for them and then trust that they will somehow deploy a suitable cadre to the position of Premier, should they win the province. Not only is that extremely disrespectful to voters, it has also never worked out well before. The ANC’s policy of cadre deployment has only ever delivered corruption, patronage and nepotism.

That’s how they have, in the past, inflicted totally corrupt Premiers like Ace Magashule on the people of the Free State, or David Mabuza on the people of Mpumalanga, or Supra Mahumapelo on the people of the North-West. That’s why they hide their candidates until every vote has been cast.

I’m not surprised at all that the ANC doesn’t want you to know who you might be voting for, should you consider casting your vote for them. When they have been forced, by law, to make public the names of candidates for Parliament and the Provincial Assemblies, it has been a source of great shame and ridicule for them. Their lists are riddled with criminals who belong in prison not Parliament, and it hurts them deeply to have to publicly disclose these names.

By law, they have to tell you the names on these lists, no matter how embarrassing or how damaging to the party. But the law doesn’t compel them to tell you who their candidates for Premier are, and you can bet they will hide them from you until after the election.

The ANC is rotten to the core, and their leadership at every level and sphere of government reflects this. All they have left is the myth of one man: Cyril Ramaphosa. He is their one and only election gimmick, and they will milk him for all he is worth. Never mind the fact that the Bosasa scandal has shown that he is no different from his comrades and his predecessor when it comes to taking dirty money for him and his family.

I would like to present a challenge to the ANC today: come clean and name your candidates for Premier for each of the provinces. With just over two weeks to go until the election, take the voters into your confidence and tell them exactly who they will be getting with a vote for the ANC. If you’re not ashamed of them, and if you don’t intend to sneak in crooks through the back door, make their names public.

You cannot build a capable government from a bunch of criminals. You cannot build a capable government by deploying cadres whose only qualification is their blind loyalty to the party. You cannot build a capable government by cheating and deceiving your voters.

The only way to build a capable government is by selecting only the best, most qualified people for the job, and doing so out in the open. And when you’ve done this – when you have chosen your candidates on credibility, experience and character – then it’s only natural that you will be proud to announce them to prospective voters.

The DA’s party lists along with our candidates for Premier in all nine provinces represent national and provincial governments-in-waiting. Our leadership is diverse and experienced, and we want every single voter to know exactly who they are.

We also want voters to know what these candidates will do for them if elected as Premier. And the key focus in every DA government will be the creation of jobs. The DA is confident that, if elected to government, we can put a job in every home. According to StatsSA’s General Household Survey 2017, only 59% of SA homes have a job in them. That means 41% of our households – well over 6 million households – do not have a single job and rely on grants or remittances. This is completely unsustainable, the source of incredible hardship and deprivation for millions of families.

In terms of putting a job in every home, DA-run Western Cape is by far in the lead, with 74% of households having at least one job. So, the situation is much better for most families in the Western Cape, although we still have a way to go.

We know we can replicate our success in other provinces. So today, each of our nine Premier candidates will sign a “Jobs Pledge” in which they will commit to a number of steps to ensure that hundreds of thousands of new jobs are created, and that everyone has fair access to these jobs.

These steps include the eradication of red tape, the building of job centres, the provision of free internet to job-seekers, the launch of a one-year provincial internship whereby matrics can learn vital skills, as well as a cash stipend for interns to cover living expenses.

This pledge will further commit our candidates to launching a trade and business agency in their province similar to the Western Cape’s WESGRO. They will also pledge to upgrade roads in rural areas, to fight for provincial control over rail services, to fight for provincial control over policing and to introduce a police ombudsman to ensure that police eradicate the practice of sex-for-jobs.

By signing this pledge, our Premier candidates will give voters something to hold them to. We will never abuse the trust of our voters. And we will most certainly never spring a bunch of crooks on people once their votes are already in the bag.

That is the difference between a party that cares only about itself, and a party that seeks to build one prosperous South Africa for all.

National Police Commissioner to monitor investigation into case against ANC for instigating violence in Alexandra

The DA received feedback from the National Commissioner of the South African Police Service, General Sitole, stating that he will monitor the investigation into the case opened by myself, against the ANC for instigating violence in Alexandra, with the purpose of influencing the outcome of the Elections on 8 May.

General Stole indicated in his letter to me that he will monitor the investigation and provide feedback on the progress made.

Since the case was opened, more evidence has emerged from investigations by the JMPD into allegations that ANC members coordinated protest action and violence in Alexandra. In a search operation by the JMPD, an ANC branded vehicle loaded with old tyres was discovered. It is suspected that these tyres were intended for barricading roads as part of the shutdown. One of the occupants in the vehicle who was arrested is a known ANC member.

Based on this new evidence, I call on General Sitole to personally ensure a swift and efficient investigation by the SAPS into ANC instigated violence in order to guarantee a safe and peaceful election on 8 May.

It has become clear that the ANC is feeling increasingly uncertain about an election victory on 8 May and are desperately trying to cling to power. It is however a shame that the ANC will choose to resort to violence in an attempt to retain power. The people of Gauteng are ready to vote for real change led by an honest and caring DA government.

Eskom’s cash scramble points to ANC’s failures and corruption

This week’s revelation that the Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni, tabled a report which details a R17 billion bailout for Eskom due to an emergency cash problem points to a power utility that is no longer viable and sustainable.

Eskom and other State Owned Enterprises have become a black hole that the South African tax payer needs to constantly fill. This is not simply because these entities have been badly managed, but because they have been used as looting vehicles for the ANC and the politically connected for decades.

The DA has been reliably informed that Eskom is not using the Chinese Development Bank loan and the bailouts for maintenance of our power plants – which are the original sin that led to this crisis. They are using the money to literally pay salaries and keep the lights on by burning through billions of Rands worth of diesel until after the elections.

This means that South Africa will no doubt be plunged into darkness this winter once again as the ANC has misled the public about the gravity of the problems at Eskom.

The reality is that Eskom cannot keep South Africa’s lights on because the business model of the entity is fundamentally broken. The DA has long reached out to the ANC government with solid solutions that would see the entity broken up into sustainable and functioning enterprises. We have proposed a bill that would allow for the introduction of independent power producers that would cheapen the cost of electricity, bring about much needed competition and ensure that South Africa is not being tanked by the black hole that Eskom has become.

But these solutions were never adopted.

To adopt them would be to accept that the past 25 years have seen old infrastructure age, remain unmaintained and now gradually collapse because the public money meant to sustain the entity has been systematically stolen. That is why the ANC government would much rather continue to punish the public by forcing us all to pay for the corruption and mismanagement which has taken place at Eskom. The scramble to keep the lights on until May 8 is not sustainable. It is dishonest and designed to mislead South Africans until it is politically convenient to expose the real rot.

The only way to put an end to this is for South Africans to vote for change on May 8th. Only the DA has a plan to keep the lights on and turn around the mess at Eskom.

In honour of Lucky Mazibuko – a hero in the fight against HIV and AIDS

Today I am honoured to pay tribute to one of Soweto’s proudest sons, and a true servant of not only this community here in Soweto, but indeed our whole country.

Lucky Mazibuko’s contribution to the fight against HIV and AIDS – and particularly in helping break down the stigma so that more people could openly seek help and treatment – has been of immense value to all South Africans living with HIV and AIDS.

Today many South Africans are disclosing their status and seeking help, but this wasn’t always the case. Two decades ago it took courageous activists to come forward and change the narrative around being HIV positive. And few were as courageous as Lucky Mazibuko.

Lucky has been living with HIV for close on three decades now, and was one of the first South Africans – particularly from this community – to openly declare his status in a time when most still feared the public reaction. He was certainly the first to spread his message and his activism through a newspaper column in the country’s largest daily newspaper, The Sowetan.

He also served as the HIV/AIDS Programme Director for the Nelson Mandela Foundation in the early 2000’s during which time he helped former President Mandela prepare speeches and become an influencial voice in the combating of HIV and AIDS.

Lucky’s tireless activism and fight for access to antiretroviral drugs for all has made it possible for thousands of other HIV positive South Africans to live normal, healthy lives, just as he does.

But it wasn’t always an easy struggle. For sixteen long years Lucky refused his ARV treatment out of principle, saying that he would not use the life-saving medication until it was available to all. This left him gravely ill on several occasions.

His ARV-strike increased the pressure on a government that, at the time, had not endorsed ARVs or made them available through our public healthcare. This selfless sacrifice nearly cost him his life, but it almost certainly saved the lives of countless others.

South Africa’s fight against HIV and AIDS, and our wide-scale ARV rollout, has been largely possible thanks to the brave activists who stood up all those years ago, and particularly someone like Lucky Mazibuko.

I am proud to call Lucky my friend. I find great inspiration in how he lives his life and how he has remained such an incredible role model for all our brothers and sisters living with HIV.

He is a wonderful family man, and a great father. Anyone living with HIV can take encouragement and inspiration from Lucky’s approach to life.

The DA will table a motion in the Johannesburg council to have Lucky Mazibuko’s work in the fight against HIV and AIDS recognised. This is the least we can do to honour his immense contribution to South African society.

May he long continue to serve the people of South Africa in his role as an activist, and may he long continue to inspire this community of Soweto with his selfless deeds and his wonderful attitude to life.

Speaker Baleka Mbete continues defence of ANC-orchestrated violent protests

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has received a letter from the Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, rejecting the Party’s request to for an Ad-Hoc Joint Committee on the spate of violent “shutdown” protests across DA-led municipalities.

The DA is of the view that Parliament has a vital role to play in getting to the bottom of this orchestrated anarchy sponsored by the failing ANC. This rejection is therefore nothing more than an attempt to defend the ANC-orchestrated violent protest.

The ANC has hijacked the legitimate plight of the people of Alexandra and other poor communities, to fuel a violent and anarchic ungovernability campaign in order to hold onto its narrow electoral prospects.

The truth is that for 25 years the ANC has failed the most vulnerable people of our country. Instead of offering change, the ANC offers instability and violence.

By rejecting our call for an ad-hoc joint committee meeting, Parliament has essentially condoned the ANC’s thuggery. This is no surprise, considering that the President of the Republic himself has thrown his support behind these violent shutdowns.

Unlike the ANC, the DA has the political maturity to put the people of this country first. We are committed to building One South Africa for All, where every citizen has access to basic services.

R17 billion Eskom bailout proof that things are much worse and ANC only keeping lights on until Election Day

Please find relevant documentation attached here and here.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) notes that the Minister of Finance, Tito Mboweni, as is required by section 16 (4) (a) of the Public Finance and Management Act (PFMA), tabled in Parliament today a report which details a bailout to Eskom to the tune of R17.652 billion. The first R5 billion was paid to Eskom on 2 April 2019. This report was snuck into the ATC without much fanfare to hide the true extent of this crisis.

Minister Mboweni indicates in his report that the amount was limited to R17.652 billion by Section 16 (2) of the PFMA which limits such “emergency” funding to a maximum of 2 percent of the appropriated national budget. This clearly indicates that the cash crisis at Eskom is far worse than the R 17.652 billion and that the amount would have been far greater had this limitation contained in Section 16 (2) not existed or was higher.

The Fifth Parliament remains in operation and it is the view of the DA that there is an urgent need for the Parliamentary committees of Finance, Appropriations and Public Enterprises to hold a joint meeting to be fully briefed on the financial crisis facing Eskom, and to provide a report with recommendations to Parliament.

I have written to Yunus Carrim, Chair of the Standing Committee on Finance, to request that he convene a joint committee meeting with the Standing Committee on Appropriations and the Portfolio Committee of Public Enterprises in order to receive a full briefing from Eskom and Tito Mboweni, Minister of Finance, on the liquidity crisis facing Eskom.

It has long been public knowledge that Eskom is bankrupt. The entity had run out of cash to keep its operations going a long time ago and has been fighting to keep providing electricity desperately needed to keep economic activity going and to avoid a recession. It is extraordinary that this crisis was so obvious that even Minister Mboweni was forced to include a current year bailout for Eskom of R23 billion but failed to introduce a special appropriation bill to ensure the funds were available for Eskom to keep the lights on.

In today’s report to Parliament, Minister Mboweni states that “ … by the end of March 2019, it became evident that Eskom was experiencing difficulties in raising the required funding as well as drawing down on existing facilities.” Two days later Eskom was paid a bailout of R5 billion.

It is extraordinary that in a letter dated 19 March 2019, and received from the Minister on 17 April 2019, made no mention of the pending cash crisis. Yet in his section 16 of the PFMA report to Parliament dated the 16 April 2019, Minister Mboweni states that “[i]n its current form, South Africa’s state-owned power utility is not financially sustainable, nor can it meet the country’s electricity needs.”

This surely did not come as a surprise to Minister Mboweni. Surely there was adequate indication that a special appropriation bill was required to be passed by Parliament on an urgent basis before the end of the first quarter of the 2019 Parliamentary session. If this did come as a surprise to the Minister in the same way that so many of ANC failures have come as a “surprise” to Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa, then there would seem to be a breakdown of communications between the Minister of Finance, Eskom and Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, or perhaps a deliberate attempt on the part of Eskom to conceal the extent of the crisis. What is evident is that the ANC government will plunge the country into debt, just to keep the lights on for the next 20 days until Election Day.

DA wishes South Africa’s Jewish community a blessed Pesach

On behalf of the Democratic Alliance, I would like to wish all members of the Jewish faith a kosher and blessed time as they celebrate the eight days of Passover.

Pesach is an important time in the Jewish calender, a time for the Jewish community to commemorate and celebrate the emancipation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt. It is a time when families come together to celebrate freedom and the deliverance from oppression. This year, the first night of Pesach falls on 19 April, which is also Good Friday for Christians.

It is auspicious that the first night of Passover and Good Friday both fall on the same day this year. In this important time of reflection, may South Africans of all faiths become more accepting and tolerant of our differences. May we celebrate our shared humanity, in the knowledge that there is much more that binds us than that separates us.

If you are travelling during the long weekend, please drive extra carefully as there is always a heightened risk this time of year, with the roads much busier than usual.

Chag Sameach!

DA wishes South Africa’s Christian community a blessed Easter

On behalf of the Democratic Alliance, I would like to wish all members of the Christian community a happy and blessed time as they celebrate this important period in the Christian calendar.

Good Friday and Easter Sunday are a time to remember the sacrifice and resurrection of Christ and to celebrate forgiveness and renewal. It is a time for deep reflection about who we are and how we should best conduct our lives. It is also a time to be with our loved ones and celebrate life and hope for a better world.

If you are travelling over the Easter weekend, please be especially careful, as the roads will be very busy.

Happy Easter!