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.

If you want to see change in the Northern Cape, then you have to vote for change.

The following remarks were delivered today by DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane, at a public meeting in Douglas, Northern Cape. 

My fellow South Africans,

We’re only three weeks away from a crucial national and provincial election. What we decide at the polls on 8 May will have a profound effect on the lives of ordinary South Africans, and particularly people in poor communities.

This is our chance to look back at what our government has delivered, and where they have failed. And I don’t just mean over the past five-year term. I mean over the full 25 years that the ANC has been in office.

Twenty-five years is a long time in government. It should be enough time to make big inroads into correcting the wrongs of our past and delivering a better life for our people. But when you look at a community like this one here in the Breipaal area of Douglas, you realise that these past 25 years have been completely wasted. The people here have almost nothing to show for this time. And there are hundreds of other communities just like this across the length and breadth of our country.

This ANC government hasn’t just failed the people through its dead-end, job-killing policies, they have actually stolen people’s future through a quarter of a century of relentless corruption.

Some estimates put the amount stolen by this ANC government since 1994 at a trillion Rand. And this number continues to grow every day. Think of what that money could have done. In today’s terms, R1 trillion could have built more than 8 million houses. R1 trillion could have built more than 22,000 schools. R1 trillion could have paid for the salaries of 205,000 nurses or 222,000 police officers, every year for 25 years.

And they want you to vote for them again?

I have been on the road for many weeks now on my Kasi to Kasi tour, traveling right across South Africa. And what I have seen should be cause for great shame for the ANC government. I have seen poverty and despair in town after town. I have seen countless people who have given up hoping for any kind of improvement in their lives – people who have given up on their dreams.

I have seen people living in conditions that no human should ever have to experience – South Africans who want to do right by their families, but who have been robbed of their dignity by crushing poverty. And they live in these conditions because the ANC government has abandoned them.

One of the worst indignities our people continue to suffer is the system of bucket toilets, along with dangerous pit latrines at our schools. This is why the DA in the Western Cape made it one of their priorities to eradicate all bucket toilets in the province when they took over in 2009. It is also why the DA-led coalition in NMB, under Mayor Athol Trollip, managed to get rid of almost 10,000 bucket toilets in the city before the ANC/EFF/UDM coalition of corruption overthrew them there.

Despite all their promises every year – and particularly ahead of every election – bucket toilets are a common feature in ANC provinces and municipalities. The fact that they cannot and will not tackle this problem is proof that they simply do not care.

Here in this small community of Breipaal alone there are over 800 bucket toilets, and they seldom get emptied on time by the municipality. Not only is this an insult to the dignity of the people here, it is also a dangerous health hazard.

Twelve years ago this local government came and built 180 flush toilets in Breipaal. That was the first and last time they were seen here. And now the ANC is asking people here to vote for them again. Why should they? What have they got to show for the past 25 years of ANC government? Just more broken promises from a party that has long forgotten the plight of our people.

Last weekend I read that President Ramaphosa’s administration is going to spend almost three-quarters of a billion Rand on renovating and upgrading the homes of ministers and other government-owned buildings. This money includes a staggering R5.7 million just to replace the carpets in the wing of the Union Buildings used by Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

They can spend R5.7 million on new office carpets, but they can’t find the money to build flushing toilets for your community.

I have also just learnt that last year the Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, bought herself two luxury vehicles in the space of three days, so that she could have one in Cape Town and one in Pretoria. These R1.2m and R1.1m Audis were paid for by you and me, despite our President reassuring us that he will rein in spending.

All his reassurances about fighting corruption, cutting waste and cleaning up government have turned out to be lies. His ministers are still spending like there is no end to the money, and not one single ANC minister, MP, Premier or Mayor has been prosecuted and jailed for corruption. This is what you need to remember when you visit your voting station next month.

These elections are the one time, every five years, that you get to have a say in how your country is run. It is your one chance to hold your government accountable for the promises they made and broke. Any democracy is only as strong as the willingness of the people to play their part in demanding more from their government.

If you are unhappy with how you have been treated these past 25 years – if you feel let down and betrayed by those who have been promising “a better life for all” since 1994, then this is your one chance to do something about it.

And you will never have a better opportunity. Right now, the DA and the ANC are neck-and-neck here in the Northern Cape. This means you now have the best chance ever of bringing the ANC under 50% in the province, and replacing it with a DA-led government that would not just eradicate bucket toilets but create work for the people of the Northern Cape.

This is exactly the same position the Western Cape was in ten years ago. And because the people there came out in great numbers to vote for change, the DA was able to put together a coalition government and unseat the ANC. Ten years later, the Western Cape is unrecognisable from the province the ANC left behind. It is now South Africa’s best performing province on every single measure, from clean corruption-free governance and job creation to service delivery, education and healthcare.

This is what the Northern Cape deserves too – a government made up of committed and competent people who truly care about improving people’s lives. If that is the government you want, then it is a DA government you should vote for.

Together we can turn the Northern Cape around, and together we can build one prosperous South Africa for all.

I look forward to debating Cyril Ramaphosa live on SABC 10 days before Election Day

Today I received a formal invite to participate in the Big Debate’s official Presidential Debate to be held on 28 April 2019 and aired live on SABC 2 and various SABC radio stations. I welcome this initiative and look forward to going toe-to-toe with Cyril Ramaphosa to debate our respective plans to deal with our country’s most pressing challenges.

It is high time that we debate real solutions to grow our economy, create jobs, eradicate corruption, ensure quality healthcare, and keep our citizens safe, and this provides an ideal opportunity to demonstrate to South Africans the differences between the policy offers of the DA and the ANC.

Voters are best empowered to make informed decisions when presented with the government track record and credible policy offers of those seeking to lead our nation. Instead of orchestrating and endorsing violent “shutdown” protests, the ANC President ought to come to this debate and present his plans and policies to the electorate.

Cyril Ramaphosa has promised to create a culture of transparency and accountability, and this provides him with a perfect opportunity to break with the past and show South Africans he is different to his predecessor.

Welbedacht has nothing to show for 25 years of ANC government

My fellow South Africans,

You should always demand accountability from your government, but even more so when they come round here asking you to re-elect them. That is when you must hold up what they promised you against what they delivered.

If a party has been in government for 25 years, and they ask you to entrust them with another five years in office, then you have every right to demand to see 25 years worth of progress.

That is the deal you entered with them. In return for your vote, they must keep the promises they made to you. If they told you about housing opportunities or service delivery improvements or access to jobs, then this is what you should judge them on. This is what you should base your decision on when it comes to voting.

I can assure you that here in Welbedacht, Chatsworth, you have not received a fair deal from your government.

These conditions here in Welbedacht, and particularly this transit camp, are not what you were promised. How long ago were you told that this was a temporary measure, and that proper housing would follow? It’s been ten years that you have been stranded here with no help from your government. And now they want your vote again?

The 400 families living here have been abandoned by this ANC government. And the only time you ever hear from them is right before an election. Is that good enough?

This will not happen under a DA government. Without even being in government here, we have already done more for this community than the ANC could manage with all the resources of government at its disposal.

From clearing up the surrounding bush and ensuring a closer taxi drop-off point, to fighting for the delivery of toilets and electricity, the DA in opposition has been more effective here than the ANC in government. So when they come begging for your vote once more, remind them of the promises they made to you – promises which they had no intention of ever keeping.

But as much as this election should be a referendum on the past 25 years of ANC government, it should also be about the next 25 years. What should Chatsworth look like? What should KZN look like? What should South Africa look like? And what kind of government can best realise this vision?

Let me start by saying what this government should not look like.

It can’t be a government that divides us into separate corners based on what we look like or the languages we speak. Here in KZN you have suffered for too long under racial and tribal politics. We need to reform our politics to speak of values, to speak of policies and to speak of big ideas, rather than of race. We need to build one united South Africa.

It can’t be a government that kills economic growth and chases away investment through destructive, outdated policies. We need a government that can reform our economy – a government that knows how to attract the kind of investment that creates work. A government that is able to put a job in every home.

It can’t be a government that uses its position to enrich itself. It can’t be a government that rewards its friends and families with jobs and tenders. It can’t be a government that does lucrative business with itself. We need a government whose only business is its service to the people.

It can’t be a government that sees municipalities as mere centres for tender adjudication, and who treat municipal budgets as their own ATMs. It can’t be a government like the ANC local government here in Ethekwini which is more interested in giving Jacob Zuma recording deals than delivering basic services to communities like yours.

When you go to your voting stations next month to make your mark, you need to think about the past 25 years, and what you got from your government during all this time. But you also need to think about the next 25 years, and the change you would like to see here in Welbedacht, in Chatsworth, in KZN and in South Africa.

If you’re unhappy with your government, you have every right to protest against them. But there is only one proven way to protest effectively, and that is with your vote. If they have lied to you or sold you empty promises year after year, then punish them with your vote. That’s the only protest that delivers results.

Use your vote to hire a government with a proven track record of delivery wherever it governs. Use your vote to hire a government that does not tolerate any form of corruption. Use your vote to hire a government that fights for the rights of all South Africans.

Fellow South Africans, there is only one party that can be this government, and that is the DA. There is only one party with both the policies and the track record to improve the lives of all South Africans.

If we should ever let you down, then use your vote to fire us too. But first give us a chance to show you what a South Africa could look like under a DA government. One united, prosperous South Africa for all.

Police and IEC must immediately intervene to put an end to ANC-orchestrated anarchy

The following statement was delivered today by DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane, at a press conference on Constitution Hill in Johannesburg. Maimane was joined by Johannesburg Mayor, Herman Mashaba, Tshwane Mayor, Stevens Mokgalapa, Midvaal Mayor, Bongani Baloyi, Modimolle-Mookgophong Mayor, Marlene Van Staden, City of Cape Town MMC for Safety and Security, JP Smith, DA Gauteng Premier Candidate, Solly Msimanga, and DA Gauteng Leader, John Moodey.

With just 24 days to go until the defining 2019 National and Provincial Elections, we gather here today at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg to urgently address a matter of national importance that threatens the very founding values of our democracy.

I am joined by DA mayors, senior party leaders, and representatives from DA governments, to seek immediate intervention in what can only be described as a malicious and calculated attempt by the ANC to render DA-run cities ungovernable in the lead up to the election, and to shift attention away from its failure as national government over the past 25 years.

The reality is that millions of South Africans live in communities that have seen little or no change since the dawn of democracy. Our painful history still lives with us and after 25 years of ANC rule, many South Africans live without basic services. This is because the ANC government is one of self-enrichment rather than building infrastructure in poor communities.

It appears that the likelihood of the party losing power in key parts of the country on 8 May has now firmly panicked the ANC, as it has now resorted to desperate and dangerous so-called “shutdown” protests in DA-run governments spanning over the past two weeks. While these violent protests were intended to appear as organic and community-driven, it has become embarrassingly evident that the protests have been initiated and sustained by the ANC.

Beginning in Alexandra, Johannesburg on 3 April, the “shutdowns” have spread to other DA-run governments. These include:

  • Ga-Rankuwa, Mabopane, Pretoria West, Soshanguve, Winterveld, and Hammanskraal in the City of Tshwane;
  • Orange Grove and Pennyville, Soweto in the City of Johannesburg;
  • Khayelitsha, Lwandle and Happy Valley, Blackheath in the City of Cape Town; and
  • Caledon in the Theewaterskloof Municipality in the Western Cape.

There remain threats of further “shutdown” protests, with the Johannesburg Inner City allegedly planned for tomorrow, Monday 15 April, as well as rumours of an impending Soweto Shutdown later this week.

This cheap, dangerous politicking is not being carried out by a few rogue elements in the ANC. It is the party’s election campaign strategy, endorsed and approved by President Cyril Ramaphosa himself. This is evidenced by his decision to go to Alex – the epicentre of these violent protests – to campaign in ANC colours, to publicly approve the shutdown and attempt to blame Mayor Herman Mashaba for the service delivery failures of the ANC over the past 25 years.

At the very core of a democracy such as ours is the possibility of a peaceful transition of power from one party to another through the ballot box. It appears the ANC is not willing to allow this to happen, stooping to new lows in an attempt to maintain their grip on power.

This is not only limited to violent “shutdowns” but has also extended to other underhand means in order to undermine the will of the electorate in the DA-led Modimolle-Mookgophong Municipality in Limpopo.

In November 2018 the Limpopo Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) signalled their intention to dissolve the Modimolle-Mookgophong council in terms of section 139(1)(c) of the Constitution which would trigger a municipal-wide election. This section allows the PEC to dissolve a council in “exceptional circumstances”.

The decision by the PEC was taken only a month after the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) approved the PEC’s section 139(1)(b) intervention at the municipality. The PEC had also approved the municipality’s financial recovery plan in early November 2018.

The PEC cited slow progress in the municipality, a failure to hold the required amount of council and executive committee meetings and a failure to execute its financial obligations as some of the reasons for its decision. When in fact, the DA-led government has been working hard to stop corruption, improve the finances and accelerate service delivery after years of neglect by the ANC.

Following the receipt of the PEC’s letters, Council gave Mayor Van Staden permission to appoint legal counsel to fight the dissolution. The Mayor then sent a letter to MEC Jerry Ndou outlining her responses to each of the “exceptional circumstances” listed by the Provincial Government. The letter argues that invoking section 139(1)(c) would be irrational and unlawful.

We are of the view that this amounts to blatant and unwarranted political interference by the ANC to undermine the current administration and to wrangle back power in order to continue looting the people’s resources. We reject this and will fight it on all fronts.

As a party that governs for 16 million South Africans across over 30 governments, we would be in dereliction of our constitutional duties if we failed to act now on behalf of current and future generations of South Africans. We will not sit back and watch the ANC erode the very values that were sacrificially fought for.

As Leader of the DA, I have therefore decided to take the following immediate action.

Firstly, I will again approach the National Police Commissioner, General Khehla Sitole, requesting an urgent face-to-face meeting in the next 48 hours to establish what plans are in place to put an end to this violence and to restore law and order in our communities. Earlier this week I requested a meeting with General Sitole, who committed to meet on 29 April 2019. This is not good enough. We need urgent intervention and 29 April may be too late. The SAPS must immediately institute a plan to halt the ANCs objective of inciting violence and turning our communities into warzones and will address this head-on when I meet with General Sitole.

Secondly, on the back of the DA’s formal complaint lodged with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) over the “shutdown” protests, I will formally request to meet with the IEC Chairperson, Mr Glen Mashinini, to:

  • Seek an update on this complaint and, if required, request the investigation to be fast-tracked to ensure we get to the bottom of this threat well before election day on 8 May; and
  • Seek reassurance that the elections will go ahead on 8 May.

Finally, we believe Parliament has a vital role to play in getting to the bottom of this orchestrated anarchy. As such, we will write the Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, requesting the urgent establishment of an Ad Hoc Joint Committee on consisting of the Portfolio Committees on Police, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, and Home Affairs to use its legislative power to consider this matter in its entirety. Parliament must use its powers to summon all involved.

While the ANC – and President Ramaphosa – continue to place their own narrow political interests ahead of the country’s collective interest, South Africans are rejecting the party in their numbers in search of real change. The ANC knows this and President Ramaphosa knows this. They are panicking and frightened and are making a grave error in thinking South Africans will not punish them for spearheading these violent protests.

South Africans face a clear choice at the ballot box on 8 May – a choice between more violence and chaos from the ANC, or the DA’s agenda to bring change that restores order and builds One South Africa For All.

Our choice is between the chaos of the ANC and a fresh start under a DA government

TMy fellow South Africans,

If we want to make this critical election count, then we have to understand, very clearly the choice we face next month at the polls.

It’s simple: We either choose to save our country from the downward spiral we’re in, or we choose to save the fortunes of a dying party, the ANC. That’s the choice on 8 May. Everything else is just spin.

We don’t have the luxury of time to sit this one out. If we don’t act collectively against the ANC now, we may not have this opportunity again. If we don’t turn the tide now, our country and our economy may not survive long enough to try it again.

We are facing a perfect storm of immediate threats to our country. We have almost 10 million unemployed adults. We have an economy that cannot even break through 1% GDP growth. We have a spiralling public sector wage bill and spiralling national debt. And we have a power utility that is bleeding money and can’t keep the lights on.

Any one of these challenges on its own is enough to destabilise a country. But we have to deal with them all at once. And if we have learnt one thing these past two decades, it is that this ANC government is simply not up to that task.

We need a brand new start under a new government that is prepared to make every bold decision needed to turn things around for us.

We need a new government that is prepared to send corrupt politicians to jail. We need a government that is prepared to stand up to the unions. We need a new government that consists only of capable and committed people, and not deployed party loyalists. We need a new government that recognises businesses and entrepreneurs as the heroes in the fight against unemployment, and not the enemies.

In short, we need a new government that looks to the future, instead of being stuck in the past. There is only one party in South Africa that can build and lead such a government, and that is the DA.

There is only one party that has proven itself in government and boasts an unmatched track record of delivery on issues ranging from housing and land reform to education and job creation.

There is only one party large enough, with a footprint that covers the entire South Africa, and with public representatives in every single area.

There is only one party that constantly fights for the rights of all South Africans, including minority groups.

There is only one party that conducts its own internal business without chaos, without violence and without endless court challenges.

And there is only one party that passionately defends our Constitution and the Rule of Law, and advocates for a country in which every citizen stands equal before the law.

That’s why this election has to be a choice between renewal and hope under a new DA-led government, or more of the same corruption and decay under this old ANC government.

It is a choice is between chaos and order – between criminality and the Rule of Law. It is a choice between tearing down our country to feed the greed of the ruling mob, or building South Africa into a safe, prosperous and inclusive country that is shared by all.

You can find evidence of this choice all around us. Right now, large parts of South Africa are reeling from so-called shutdown protests. We saw this in Alexandra in Johannesburg. We saw this in Tshwane. We saw violent protests in Khayelitsha. We saw marches in Midvaal.

What do these places have in common? They are all governed by the DA. And behind all these actions you will find the hand of the ANC, trying its best to cause chaos and disorder in the run-up to the election. They are waging a poorly disguised campaign of ungovernability across multiple DA-run cities at once because they hope this will distract voters from their own failures.

It is sheer desperation that causes a party to act in this way. And this is not the first time they have done this. Back in 2016, when they lost Gauteng metros to DA-led coalitions, the ANC could see the writing on the wall. They weren’t only losing politically, they were losing financially too. They were losing access to tenders and procurement contracts. The feeding trough was closing down for them, and so the ANC mob set Tswhane alight.

They also knew that what happened in metros in 2016 would surely be repeated in provinces in 2019. And this is why the DA-run parts of Gauteng are burning again, along with parts of DA-run Cape Town. This is what it looks like when a failed liberation movement faces the prospect of losing power.

And throughout all of this, President Ramaphosa is pretending that none of it is happening. As the country burns at the hands of his party, he continues to float around South Africa in his own little bubble, seemingly isolated from the crimes of his party and from the failures of his government.

He continues to sell the idea that he has nothing to do with the ANC of Magashule and Mabuza, and that he has nothing to do with the ANC that plundered Eskom to the point of collapse and dragged our economy to the edge of the cliff. He presents himself as something entirely different to that ANC.

But he is not. They are one and the same. He even operates in the exact same shady way as his predecessor, as we have seen in the evidence of dirty Bosasa money flowing to both him and his son. He is the ANC and the ANC is him.

I know some will tell you that you have all sorts of other magical choices on the ballot paper. They will say you can somehow sidestep the rest of the criminal ANC and vote only for Cyril Ramaphosa. This is completely untrue, of course. If you make your mark next to the ANC, then you get everything the ANC stands for.

Regardless of what you may think of Cyril Ramaphosa, a vote for the ANC will give you Land Expropriation Without Compensation. A vote for the ANC will give you the disastrous National Health Insurance. A vote for the ANC will give you SADTU in schools and deployed cadres on the boards of SOEs.

Then there are others who will tell you that you need to vote for a small party that looks just like you, talks just like you and only cares about the exact same things as you do. This is also a big mistake, as a vote for such a party will do nothing to stop the ANC and replace them with a credible government.

These parties are often on the political extremes, and they mobilise races against each other. They thrive on the divisions that exist in our society. They drive wedges between us and force these divisions even wider.

That cannot possibly be the future of our country. Our only hope as a nation is if we remain united – strengthened in our diversity. And so we need to find common ground and rally around the values that unite us, not those that push us apart and drive us back into separate corners.

That is why the future of this great country lies in coalition politics, and more specifically, a DA-led coalition government. I have said on many occasions that the DA is prepared to work with any party that shares the core principles around which we want to build South Africa. These are non-racialism, the Rule of Law, Constitutionalism, zero tolerance for corruption, a Capable State and a market-driven economy.

Everything else can be worked around or negotiated. We don’t have to agree on every single thing. But with those core principles in place, we can build a government and a state that can truly serve the people and act in their interest.

But if we’re going to do this, we are going to have to do it now. We can’t afford to waste any time, and we can’t afford for any precious votes to be wasted.

Yes, the DA is not perfect. No party is. The DA may not fulfil every single need you have. No party will. But the DA is honest, accountable, capable, caring and big enough to challenge the ANC. And that should be enough reason to put your trust in us.

Lend us your vote next month, and we will do all we can to pull South Africa back from the brink. We will do all we can to right the wrongs that this ANC government has committed.

We will do all we can to get our economy back on its feet and creating precious jobs – jobs that can be accessed fairly by all South Africans, regardless of their connections or party affiliation.

We will do all we can to keep communities – both urban and rural – safe from harm through a professional and honest Police Service

We will do all we can to protect the interests of our country and its people by securing our borders and ensuring effective border control.

We will do all we can to root out all corruption, and send those politicians found guilty to jail for 15 years.

We will do all we can to speed up the delivery of services to all communities across the country.

That is my pledge to you today.

If the DA should let you down and fall short of your expectation, then you must take your vote back again. Because that’s where the power of our democracy lies. But first give us the chance to prove ourselves.

I assure you, a DA government will work harder than anyone else at building one prosperous and safe South Africa for all its people.

Public Protector confirms Bosasa/Ramaphosa web of corruption runs much wider than initially thought

Today I met with Public Protector, Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane to obtain an update on the DA’s complaint over President Ramaphosa’s misleading of Parliament regarding his R500 000 “donation” received from Bosasa CEO, Gavin Watson.

Over 5 months ago, President Ramaphosa misled Parliament about the R500 000 “donation” received from Bosasa CEO, Gavin Watson, and the clear relationship and conflict of interest that exists between him, his son, Andile Ramaphosa and Bosasa. I submitted a complaint to the Public Protector, Adv Busisiwe Mkhwebane, on 23 November 2018 about this lie and the conflict of interest in the relationship between the President, his son and Bosasa.

Adv Mkhwebane has confirmed today that while she has initially hoped the investigation would be finalized by February 2019, it became apparent during the process of investigating the matter that the nature and extent of the relationship between the Ramaphosa’s and Bosasa runs much deeper than initially thought.

Therefore, the Public Protector has decided to significantly widen the ambit of the investigation to include other issues uncovered during the investigation – including possible financial irregularities – and that his investigation will continue well past election day on 8 May. This means Cyril Ramaphosa will go into a General Election with serious allegations of corruption hanging over his head.

This confirms our long held claim that the President and his son are involved in improper business dealings with a company that has testified that it has been bribing ANC politicians for the last two decades. Bosasa contracts with the ANC government total over R10 billion. Like the Zuma-Gupta relationship, the Ramaphosa-Bosasa relationship follows the standard ANC triangle of corruption: the ANC-in-government gives lucrative tenders to connected cronies who bribe officials, which in return funds the ANC

The Public Protector confirmed that she has to date:

  • Engaged the President, his CR17 campaign team and Bosasa;
  • Subpoenaed bank statements and attorneys on each side;
  • Requested an affidavit from Andile Ramaphosa on his version of events.

Today’s meeting with the Public Protector confirms that there is still much we do not know about this improper relationship and it is now imperative that the President comes clean with the people of South Africa. I have therefore written to the Chief Justice of the Zondo Commission into State Capture for the President to be subpoenaed to appear before the Commission over his and his family’s conflict of interest with Bosasa. Ramaphosa needs to account to the commission and the nation as to the ever-growing list of transactions, contracts and business dealings between his family and Bosasa.

I have also requested to view the President’s declaration of interests since his election in February 2018 because section 2.3(d) of the Executive Ethics Code states that members of the Executive may not “Use their position or any information entrusted to them, to enrich themselves or improperly benefit any other person.” (Emphasis added). If President Ramaphosa has failed to disclose any conflict of interest as it relates to his son, then the Public Protector must further investigate whether the President has breached the Executive Ethics Act.

There has been no change in the ANC since the election of Cyril Ramaphosa as President. Even former President Kgalema Motlanthe commented that the ANC is in worse shape now under Cyril Ramaphosa than it was before.
We must remove the entire ANC on 8 May and hire a DA-led government that has zero tolerance for corruption.

Only the DA has a plan – and the will – to secure our borders

The following remarks were delivered today by Democratic Alliance (DA) Leader, Mmusi Maimane, at a visit to the Ficksburg Border Post in the Free State. 

Fellow South Africans,

We live in a world where borders and border control are vital to the running of nations. It is of the utmost importance that we know, at all times, who has entered and left our country, and that everyone here is properly documented.

This is particularly true here in Africa, where national budgets are stretched and where proper planning is critical to meeting the needs of the people. If we want to give not only South Africa, but indeed the continent of Africa, the best chance at prosperity and safety, then we need to ensure that all governments have a very clear picture of the scope of their task.

We must also make a far bigger effort at focusing our foreign policy on fostering stability throughout the SADC region. We owe it to our neighbours to help them find sustainable and peaceful solutions to their economic and political challenges. And a stable and peaceful SADC region is in everyone’s interest, not least of which ours.

We must condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the xenophobic attacks which recently took place in parts of KZN. Our democracy must be one of tolerance and respect for one another, and we cannot allow our relationships with foreign nationals to be characterised by mistrust, fear and violence. That is not who we are as a nation.

Fellow South Africans, ours is a country with very long land borders which we share with six other countries. And along the entire length of these borders, our government has failed to keep us safe and protect our interests.

Secure borders and effective migration management are essential if you want to plan ahead for services like housing, healthcare and education. They’re also essential for safeguarding citizens against rampant cross-border crime, including stock theft, vehicle theft and drug trafficking.

No country in the world can afford to abandon its borders and allow undocumented people to come and go as they please. And yet this is precisely what this ANC government has done. Not because it stands ideologically opposed to borders, but because it simply cannot do its job.

Between the Department of Home Affairs and the South African National Defence Force, our borders right across the country have become a complete free-for-all, leaving ordinary South Africans to pay the price, and leaving communities near these borders at the mercy of criminals.

This border here between Lesotho and South Africa is no exception. In places there is only the Caledon River that stands between Lesotho and South Africa, and for most of the year it is low enough to be no deterrent at all. People who live up and down the river here are under constant attack from cross-border stock thieves. They also suffer a host of other crimes, including house robbery and vehicle and tractor theft.

Stock theft is a massive problem all across South Africa, and particularly here in the Free State. Just this week police discovered around 400 stolen cattle on a farm in the Steynsrus area. It is suspected that these cattle were stolen from farmers all across the province, as well as neighbouring provinces. Our farmers need the protection of government if they are to keep us food-secure, but they have been let down.

If the ANC government cared at all about the communities along the Caledon River, as well as South Africans in general, it would have plugged our porous borders a long time ago. It would have fixed the fences and it would have staffed and equipped border posts such as this one here in Ficksburg to effectively deal with the thousands of people who cross every day at this border post, as well as the border posts at Maseru Bridge and further down at Wepener.

But it clearly doesn’t care, which is why you find border posts that are severely understaffed and with equipment in dire need of repair or replacement. It is why you find stock theft and farming equipment theft amounting to more than R7 billion in this province alone. It is why you find new outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease in provinces like the Free State and Limpopo.

It is unacceptable that our borders have become almost non-existent in places, and that our border control has become severely compromised by corruption, under-resourcing and incompetence.

Securing our borders is not simply about keeping people out. It is about ensuring that all migration occurs legally. It is about knowing who has entered the country and documenting their status. It is about being able to plan ahead and make sure our budgets can stretch to cover all they need to cover. It is about making it easier for those who want to enter South Africa legally – because we want legal, law-abiding people to bring their skills here and help grow our economy – but making it impossible for those who want to enter illegally.

The DA is the only party willing to take on this issue. We are the only party with a plan to secure our borders and rid Home Affairs of corruption so that legitimate migrants like refugees and asylum-seekers get the protection they deserve from the state, while illegal immigrants are stopped before they even cross the border.

A DA-led national government will do so by:

  • Auditing, properly recording and, where appropriate, regularising all undocumented foreign nationals already in the country.
  • Making legal entry and residence easier for skilled immigrants and businesses from all countries, especially from within Africa.
  • Helping South Africans to travel and do business, and assisting those wanting to live, work and trade in South Africa legally.
  • Deporting those who have illegally entered our country’s borders, harbours and airports, and doing so fairly, efficiently and legally.
  • Assisting and supporting asylum seekers, and protecting refugees and those who have been trafficked across our borders.
  • Reviewing the number and size of border posts and their management to increase the number of points of legal entry and exit.
  • Ensuring effective and coordinated border security and border control through increased policing capacity at our border posts and along our borders.
  • Increasing the 15 SANDF companies protecting South Africa’s borders to the required 22 companies, and ensuring that they are properly resourced and trained.

My fellow South Africans, the ANC government has shown us that they have no such plan, and that they have no intention at all to secure our borders. But even if they were to suddenly announce a plan for better border control and migration management, it would be very hard to believe them. Because the man going around the country making promises is not the man in charge of the ANC government.

President Ramaphosa is little more than the face of the ANC election campaign. He is all they have with which to sweet-talk the voters, but behind the scenes it is others who pull the strings and make the calls. It is people like the thoroughly corrupt Ace Magashule who call all the shots. That is why Ramaphosa has to constantly change his tune on almost everything he promises – from land expropriation to the independence of the Reserve Bank.

Don’t allow yourself to be tricked into thinking you can vote for Cyril Ramaphosa. He is just the mask, and behind the mask is the real ANC of Ace Magashule and DD Mabuza. It is the real ANC that keeps people like Nomvula Mokonyane, Bathabile Dlamini, Malusi Gigaba and Fikile Mbalula on the national list. It is the real ANC that rewards criminals with cushy jobs.

The real ANC is a corrupt syndicate that continues to bleed our country dry, despite all the Commissions of Enquiry and all the evidence of looting that is reported on daily. And they desperately need Ramaphosa if they want to carry on looting.

Only we, collectively, have the power to stop this. Only the power of our votes can end the plunder and usher in a new era for our country. No commission of enquiry will do this. No promise by the president for accountability will do this. Because to date, despite all his promises, not one single ANC cadre has been charged, prosecuted or jailed for all the thousands of acts of corruption. No one. In fact, they’ve all been rewarded with the promise of seats in Parliament.

Let us put a stop to that, my fellow South Africans.

Let us, together, be the change our country needs.

Let us secure our borders and keep our communiities safe.

Let us kickstart our economy so that we can put a job in every home.

Let us all stand together as we build one South Africa for all its people.

#Bosasagate: DA Leader Maimane to meet with Public Protector over Ramaphosa complaint

It has been 5 months to the day since President Ramaphosa misled Parliament about the conflict of interest between him, his son, Andile Ramaphosa, and Bosasa – the company that has been actively bribing ANC officials for almost 20 years.

I will therefore be meeting with the Public Protector, Adv Busisiwe Mkhwebane, on Tuesday 9 April 2019, seeking an update on my complaint over the President’s misleading of Parliament regarding his and his son’s relationship with Bosasa, and the clear conflict of interest that exists between the Ramaphosa family and Bosasa.

I have also since written to the Chief Justice of the Zondo Commission into State Capture for the President to be subpoenaed to appear before the Commission over his and his family’s conflict of interest with Bosasa.

Ramaphosa needs to account to the commission and the nation as to the ever-growing list of transactions, contracts and business dealings between his family and Bosasa. What we do know is that:

  • Cyril Ramaphosa received a R500 000 “donation” from Bosasa CEO, Gavin Watson, towards his campaign to be elected ANC President;
  • Andile Ramaphosa had a contractual agreement with Bosasa for “advisory services”, which he earned over R2 million in a little over a year.
  • That President Ramaphosa told Parliament he had seen that contract, and it was all above board.
  • Andile Ramaphosa’s business partner, a Chinese energy company,  attempted to secure a R400 million kickback from an Eskom loan in January last year – at a time when his father Cyril Ramaphosa was heading up State-Owned Entities, and Eskom.

However there remains much we don’t know. And the Zondo Commission is best placed to seek the truth in this matter.

Lastly, I have also requested to view the President’s declaration of interests since his election in February 2018.  Section 2.3(d) of the Executive Ethics Code states that members of the Executive may not “Use their position or any information entrusted to them, to enrich themselves or improperly benefit any other person.” (Emphasis added). If the President has failed to disclose any conflict of interest as it relates to his son, then the Public Protector must investigate whether he has breached the Executive Ethics Act.

We cannot ignore the fact that Bosasa is a company that has been bribing ANC politicians for the last two decades. Bosasa contracts with the ANC government total over R10 billion. Like Zuma-Gupta, the Ramaphosa-Bosasa relationship follows the standard ANC triangle of corruption: the ANC-in-government gives lucrative tenders to connected cronies who bribe officials, which in return funds the ANC.

The truth is there has been no change in the ANC since the election of Cyril Ramaphosa as President. In fact, former President Kgalema Motlanthe said it all: the ANC is in worse shape now under Cyril Ramaphosa than it was before.

Their remains a circle of secrecy between the Ramaphosa’s, ANC and Bosasa. It is crucial this secrecy is broken and South Africa is told the full truth about this corruption scandal involving the President.

Those who looted VBS, Limpopo and South Africa belong in prison, not Parliament

The following remarks were made today by DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane, at a march to the Limpopo Premier’s Office in Polokwane.

Fellow South Africans,

When the ANC released their lists of candidates for Parliament and provincial legislatures, they proudly said that these lists represent all South Africans. Which made no sense, as we all know they only represent the connected insiders.

But then I looked at these lists, and I think I know what they meant when they said this. “All South Africans”, to them, includes criminals, fraudsters and scammers. If you scroll through their national list, it reads like a who’s who of corrupt cadres involved in everything from the Gupta State Capture to the Arms Deal scandal and the Bosasa looting.

If there’s one thing the ANC does exceptionally well, it is to reward crooks with cushy jobs. They have a decades-old habit of sending people who belong in prison to Parliament instead.

And this province here is no exception. If anything, Limpopo leads the way. Because you cannot have a clearer case of corruption and looting than the massive theft that took place at VBS bank. None of those facts are up for dispute.

In Limpopo alone, 11 municipalities deposited around R2 billion that belonged to the people of these towns and villages with VBS Mutual Bank. This was done in clear violation of the MFMA and Treasury regulations and, as we later found out, involved kick-backs to ANC members. Seven of these municipalities have now lost more than R1.2 billion in the looting that took place at VBS.

That was money meant for housing, service delivery and infrastructure in these cash-strapped municipalities. And not one single ANC politician or official has yet been charged or prosecuted. In fact, they have once again been rewarded with the promise of election.

Two of the ANC Mayors accused in the VBS scandal have made it onto the provincial list – former Vhembe District Municipality Mayor Florence Radzilani at number 7 and former Lepelle Nkumpi Municipality Mayor, Nakedi Sibanda at number 24. Radzilani famously demanded more than R300,000 for “Christmas” in exchange for handing over her municipality’s money to be looted.

Anywhere else these criminals would not only lose their jobs, they would be immediately charged, prosecuted and put in jail. But in the ANC this is considered just another day’s work. In the ANC the worst that will ever happen is a sideways shift to another department or ministry.

Fellow South Africans, we are here today to say: enough is enough. These two disgraced Mayors cannot be allowed to tarnish our national and provincial legislatures. They, along with the 9 other Limpopo Mayors who gave up their people’s money for some grubby kickbacks, belong in a courtroom and then in jail. Prison, not Parliament!

And it is not only the VBS theft that has robbed the people of this province. Limpopo has a long history of corruption that spans several administrations. Who can forget the looting that took place here under Premier Cassel Mathale, back when he and his friend Julius Malema were cooking tenders and emptying out the Public Works budget?

Limpopo today is no better off, with Premier Mathabatha turning a blind eye to even the most clear and obvious theft and mismanagement of public funds. Not one single ANC politician or official has been charged here despite a string of scandals and around R15 billion in irregular, unauthorised, fruitless and wasteful expenditure since 2014.

During this same time we have seen the Limpopo government pay R116m for a piece of land valued at R8m. We have seen the R3bn Giyani water project grind to a halt due to mismanagement and corruption, leaving 55 villages without water. We have seen the Education MEC here receive R1.65m in kickbacks for awarding tenders for the construction of toilets. And despite numerous investigations by the Hawks and the Public Protector, there has been not one single arrest and prosecution for any of this.

The ANC lists and the ANC benches in legislatures across the country are full of people who belong in orange overalls. We have identified 46 people on the party’s national list who have no business being elected to any public position.

This includes Deputy President Mabuza, who reportedly stole millions from the Mpumalanga Education Department to pay for the Ramaphosa faction’s victory at the ANC’s elective conference in 2017, and paved his own way to the Deputy Presidency. He also has allegations of involvement in political assassinations hanging over his head.

It includes the blatantly corrupt like Malusi Gigaba, Fikile Mbalula and Faith Muthambi. It includes the criminally incompetent, like Bathabile Dlamini. It includes Bosasa beneficiaries like Nomvula Mokonyane and Gwede Mantashe. It includes travel voucher scammers, credit card scammers, tender fraudsters and looters of the Madiba funeral money. It includes Gupta stooges, rape accused and even murder accused. And it includes President Ramaphosa who took bribe money from Bosasa, and whose lofty position allowed his son to benefit to the tune of R2m from Bosasa.

It is a list of people who belong in prison, not parliament. And if the ANC can’t do the right thing themselves, then it will fall to a new government that can and will do so.

Fellow South Africans, the DA’s track record in government makes it clear that we will not tolerate any form of corruption or criminality in our ranks. Where we govern, we get clean audits because we spend the people’s money on the people. Where we govern, we take immediate action against anyone who acts outside of the party’s values and outside of the law.

Our manifesto makes it very clear: Any politician found guilty of corruption will be sent to jail for 15 years. Compare this with the ANC who send their corrupt members to Parliament for term after term after term.

But if you really want to see the DA difference, then hold up our lists against those of the ANC. Because there you will see the future compared to the past. When the DA selects candidates to represent the people in our country’s legislatures, we do so with the future of the country in mind. We do so in order to be able to assemble a best-person government from the most qualified, most committed people we can find.

Our lists are not a graveyard of disgraced politicians, like those of the ANC. Ours are packed with diverse skills, diverse races, diverse backgrounds and, importantly, diverse ages. Because the DA is not held captive by factions of criminals who have dug themselves in for life, we are able to constantly renew our ranks with people who bring in fresh ideas and new perspectives. Our lists are an ideal blend of youth and experience.

Throughout Africa, governments are losing touch with their people as the age gap between governments and the population average gets wider and wider, and the ANC is no exception. This is because most of their ageing ministers and MPs have nowhere else to go. Some of them have sat in our Parliament since 1994 and have hardly made a contribution. Someone like Bathabile Dlamini is completely unemployable outside of the governing party, and her position in the ANC government is little more than a comfortable, ongoing pension.

That cannot be the future of our country. If we want to take South Africa forward – if we want to unlock our potential, create opportunities for our youth and re-establish South Africa as the leading economy on the continent – then we will need a government geared for the future. And that government can only be led by the DA. It will be lean and efficient, with only 15 streamlined ministries, so that more money can be spent on improving people’s lives and keeping people safe in their communities.

When a DA-led government replaces this ANC corruption syndicate, the days of sheltered employment for hundreds of ageing criminals in government will be over for good. Then you will see our country take off.

The choice next month is clear. If you care about the future of our country, you must play your part in installing a clean and honest government both nationally and here in Limpopo province. You must use the power of your vote to kick the corrupt out of these offices and straight into a jail cell.

Join me on 8 May as we start rebuilding this great province, and our beautiful country, under a brand new, future-focused DA-led government.