Enough is enough – DA Leader writes to President Ramaphosa to compel Minister Nzimande to intervene at burning campuses

Note to Editors: Please find attached a video and soundbite by DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology, Baxolile ‘Bax’ Nodada MP. 

The Leader of the  Democratic Alliance (DA) John Steenhuisen has written to President Cyril Ramaphosa to compel Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande to show leadership and take action to resolve the unrest on campuses across the country.

Three days after the Minister painted a rosy picture that higher education institutions were ready for the 2020 academic year during his executive statement in Parliament – students at institutions across the country are still protesting and disrupting the start of the 2020 academic year. It is for this reason that the DA has urged the President to compel Minister Nzimande to intervene as students at many higher education institutions have been left destitute and unable to pay for food and accommodation. Currently:

  •  At the University of Fort Hare (UFH), the Vice-Chancellor on Thursday issued a notice of suspension for the academic programme; this included a directive for students to vacate the campus and its residences. This has resulted in many students who come from deep rural areas homeless as they cannot afford alternative accommodation and transport.
  • On Wednesday, protests erupting at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) when a video clip emerged of students sleeping in the university’s library;
  • The University of KwaZulu-Natal has also suffered immensely due to protests this year where buildings were set alight, and violence erupted; and
  • TVET students from Pietermaritzburg to Tshwane have staged shutdowns and demonstrations due to these colleges not paying out NSFAS funds.

These continued disruptions and violence at tertiary institutions, not only trample on other students’ right to access to education, but it could potentially have a ripple effect, spread and destabilise campuses across the country.

The buck stops with Minister Nzimande, and he needs to act now to prevent a complete meltdown at campuses. The DA, therefore, requested the following interventions from the Minister:

  • That NSFAS expedite disbursements directly to students immediately as they missed their deadline which was 7 February, TVETs are failing to disburse funds to students and therefore NSFAS should do this themselves.
  • The Minister should provide specific timelines of when poor students will have their historic debt cleared.
  • To urgently engage the Departments of Public Works and Human Settlements to allocate unused buildings for student accommodation.
  • Allowances for students at university and TVET Colleges needs to be standardised because accommodation and food are just as expensive for both students who are in TVET Colleges or Universities.
  • The Minister has to engage Fort Hare management to prevent the eviction of students and find a way to allow for the academic program to continue.

It is unacceptable that Minister Nzimande continues to be aloof as campuses are burning and students across the country are without food and transport allowances. We urge the Minister to remember his primary responsibility, which is to ensure that every South African has fair access to higher education in a conducive and safe environment.

Further pictures can be downloaded here and here

STRAIGHT TALK: SONA and Ramaphosa: the night and knight of delusion

Long and well-spun as it was, Ramaphosa’s state of the nation address can be distilled down to a single naked fact: it didn’t deliver the reforms we need to reverse South Africa’s slide into bankruptcy. It didn’t even come close.

“Gradually and then suddenly” was Hemingway’s description of how you go bankrupt. We’re entering the “suddenly” phase, with our credit set to be junked soon after Mboweni delivers his budget speech later this month.

Yet Ramaphosa missed his Rubicon moment to fix the fundamentals.

He failed to administer even the basic CPR required to stabilise the patient. If the DA were in government, this is the shock treatment we would have delivered last night.

  • Solve our energy crisis by committing to 1) break Eskom’s monopoly entirely by opening the energy market to full competition, allowing companies and households to generate and sell electricity unhindered by the state, 2) sell off Eskom’s power stations to pay off its R450 billion debt, 3) free Eskom’s leadership to drive operational efficiencies.
  • Rapidly revive investor confidence by decisively walking away from expropriation without compensation, national health insurance, nationalising the Reserve Bank, and forcing pension funds to invest in state-owned companies.

And Ramaphosa denied our economy the treatment – long prescribed by the DA – that would nurse it to long-term health:

  • Make bold changes to our labour legislation to unleash entrepreneurship and job creation.
  • Stand up to SADTU to end their stranglehold on our basic education system, so that teachers can be properly trained, monitored and incentivised.
  • Do away with cadre deployment and BEE so that the appointments and tenders are on merit and in the best interests of the poor. This would do far more to fix our health system than will NHI.
  • Devolve SAPS powers to the provinces and metros as per international best practice.
  • Commit to reining in the public sector wage bill, by freezing wages for all managers and administrators for three years and reducing the number of such managers earning over a million rand a year by a third.

Though not nearly enough to arrest South Africa’s slide, we welcome the commitment to add additional energy to the grid and to back the DA’s long-fought proposal to allow municipalities to procure their own power from independent producers.

But mostly, we were dished up delusion: a state bank when the post bank is already unable to do its job; a sovereign wealth fund when the government already spends R1000 million more per day than it gets in taxes; a smart city when most municipalities are bankrupt or dysfunctional or both; coding and robotics for kids who can’t read; a capable state with cadre deployment.

It would be funny if it weren’t ruining millions of lives and destroying our future.

Ramaphosa’s problem is that for every major policy decision confronting him, he must choose between his party and his country. Either he goes the route that provides patronage and populist support to his party (NHI, EWC, SADTU etc) or he goes the route that generates inclusive growth for South Africa.

He chooses the ANC over South Africa every time.

It’s time for South Africans to wake up. Cyril is not the knight in shining armour that came to save us. We need to build a new majority for reform in South Africa. The DA will be at the forefront of this charge.

SA Tourism confirms that President Ramaphosa’s SONA tourism targets are unrealistic 

The Democratic Alliance (DA) can confirm that President Cyril Ramaphosa’s target of 21 million visitors by 2030 in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) was, like most of his promises, a pipe dream. On Tuesday, SA Tourism (SAT) confirmed to Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Tourism that the President’s target was unrealistic and unattainable.

SAT instead indicated that a more realistic tourism target would be 16.5 million by 2030. In their presentation, SAT explained that although South Africa is considered a “cheap” destination, we remain an expensive destination compared to other tourist destinations.

While 16.5 million is not a cause for concern, the reality is that President Ramaphosa cannot expect South Africa to welcome high numbers of tourists to our shores when our economy is floundering, crime is on the rise and our aviation industry is being held to ransom by industrial action on the part of unions.

The challenges in the tourism sector are further compounded by the apparent lack of coordination between the Department of Tourism and other relevant Government Departments and entities in effectively implementing the country’s tourism plans of action.

The DA will be submitting Parliamentary questions to enquire whether the Department in conjunction with other relevant Departments have any short and long-term strategies/programmes in place to boost tourism; what the budgets are for those strategies/programmes and whether these strategies/programmes have bourn any fruits.

It is pertinent that the Department in conjunction with the South African Police Services as well as the Departments of Home Affairs, Transport and Arts, Culture and Sports, cooperate and facilitate the implementation of long term tourism initiatives.

It is no secret that rampant crime, xenophobic tensions, and Government’s now overturned decision on unabridged birth certificates, have taken a massive blow on our economy and tourism industry.

The DA will be taking this issue to the National Assembly and will be challenging the Minister to make the required paradigm shifts. Government simply cannot take the tourism industry for granted. In 2018 alone the industry contributed 1.5 million jobs and R425.8 billion to the economy – it is simply too an important industry to fail.

ANC moves to capture the Public Service Commission

Hot on the heels of the ANC’s immoral deployment of the incompetent convicted liar, Bathabile Dlamini, to the Social Housing Authority, Cyril Ramaphosa’s party yesterday moved to capture the Public Service Commission (PSC). Despite vociferous opposition from the Democratic Alliance (DA), the ANC used its majority in the parliamentary subcommittee to force through the proposed appointment of ANC cadre Zanele Hlatshwayo as a PSC commissioner.

In her time as ANC mayor of Msundizi in KwaZulu-Natal, Hlatshwayo systematically destroyed the municipality. By 2010, even the ANC had had enough. They removed Hlatshwayo from her mayoralty and placed the collapsed municipality under administration. But because the party lives in an accountability-free universe, the ANC immediately and immorally deployed this incompetent cadre to the KwaZulu-Natal health department, where the government continued to pay her millions in taxpayer monies for the past eight years.

Now, the ANC is determined to use cadre Hlatshwayo to capture the PSC, where she will be paid more than R1.5 million per year. The Constitution stipulates that the PSC “is independent and must be impartial, and must exercise its powers and perform its functions without fear, favour or prejudice.” The Constitution further instructs that each PSC commissioner must be “a fit and proper person with knowledge of, or experience in, administration, management or the provision of public services.”

Hlatshwayo fails dismally on both counts. In addition to being a proven failure as a former ANC mayor, the CV she submitted to the parliamentary committee indicates that Hlatshwayo is currently a senior member of the ANC-aligned SANCO. This is in direct contravention of the PSC Act, which directs that “A commissioner shall not hold office in any political party or political organisation.” Even more shockingly, during her interview, Hlatshwayo insisted that she “will never stop being political.”

As a proven incompetent and partisan political deployee, Hlatshwayo belongs nowhere near South Africa’s most important independent public service watchdog. The ANC’s insistence on her appointment indicates the party’s determination to capture and undermine an organization tasked with fighting corruption and mismanagement by its cadres.

Instead of cadre Hlatshwayo, the DA recommends the appointment of Kevin Malunga, the current Deputy Public Protector of the Republic. Unlike cadre Hlatshwayo, Malunga has a proven track record as a highly qualified, dedicated and professional public servant. Malunga is an eminently fit and proper person for the position of PSC commissioner.

This scandal is yet more evidence that hidden under the ruse of Ramaphosa’s empty talk, the ANC is as determined as ever to capture the state and enable cadres to loot. But the DA will not sit back and allow them to capture and corrupt another key lever in our fight against state collapse. Well aware of the ANC’s intention to capture the PSC, the DA recorded the proceedings of the subcommittee.

If the ANC does not withdraw the recommendation to appoint Hlatshwayo, the DA will not hesitate to approach the courts to set aside this patently irrational appointment, and to request personal cost orders against the ANC members of the committee who knowingly recommended an unfit and improper cadre.

Ramaphosa signs National Credit Amendment Bill into law at the worst possible time

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is dismayed that President Cyril Ramaphosa has signed into law the deeply flawed and possibly unconstitutional National Credit Amendment Bill, drawn up by the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry (PCTI) in the fifth Parliament.

The Amendment Bill, will increase the cost of credit for low income earners, weaken the fight against illegal lenders and negatively disrupt the credit market while posing a financial risk to the state, when South African consumers are already under enormous financial strain.

This is why I petitioned the President in April 2019 to give due consideration to the very real issues related to this Act as well as it’s constitutionality.

To make matters worse, the State has no idea what cost to the economy and credit market will be and has been unable to clarify the cost implications for the state in implementing the Bill, including where the R100 million will come from to fund the National Credit Regulator and National Consumer Tribunal to fund their new mandates to process Debt Relief applications.

The DA is concerned that this Act will increase, instead of decrease, the appetite among low income earners to incur more debt with no intention of ever paying it back creating a massive moral hazard, as long as they remained within the legislated threshold of indebtedness.

The Act in its current form fails to make adequate provision to deal with illegal and unregistered rogue lenders who take advantage of consumers who have no recourse or protection of the State. The weakness of this approach is such that an illegal lender only becomes guilty of the offence if reported by consumers and if he or she is located and found guilty. The probability of someone reporting a loan shark is next to zero.

It appears that President Ramaphosa has buckled to pressure from groups like COSATU who have very little regard for the damage this Act will do to the poor.

The DA advocates for credit legislation that protects consumers from debt traps and illegal lending whilst ensuring the sustainability of the credit markets. In contrast, the President has singed into law legislation in an information vacuum which could have disastrous consequences for consumers, the cost of credit and the restriction of credit for low income South African’s.

Honour the victims of Marikana by reforming mining in SA, Mr Ramaphosa

Tomorrow, seven years ago, 34 mineworkers and breadwinners were gunned down by the South African Police Service (SAPS) acting on the direction of senior politicians and government officials. Today we remember those who lost their lives and honour their legacy. These men bravely stood up and protested against what they believed were unjust wages and inhumane living conditions. Instead of being met by meaningful engagement, they were met by live rounds of ammunition from a government far removed from the realities and struggles of daily life in South Africa. This will always be a tragedy that will haunt our nation.

We must honour these brave men, and ensure they are never forgotten. I have again today, as I did last year, written to President Cyril Ramaphosa – a central figure in this massacre – requesting that he officially declares 16 August “Marikana Memorial Day” in honour of the workers killed seven years ago. Given President Ramaphosa’s pledge to “play whatever role he can”, this is the very least he can do to honour the victims of this massacre.

In addition to this, today is not only about justice for the 34 miners who were killed by the ANC government on that fateful day, but the over 500 000 South Africans who work directly for the mines. With at least as many working in associated industries, the mining industry is responsible for approximately 1 million jobs in South Africa and faces profound stress with continual job losses. The mining sector is integral to our economy and is in desperate need of profound reform.

In this light I have also approached President Ramaphosa requesting the establishment of a Mining Task Team in order to oversee much needed reform in the sector. This Task Team ought to compromise of government officials, opposition parties in Parliament, industry experts, union representatives, and representatives from all major mining companies in South Africa. The Task Team must focus on the following:

  • Promoting the mining industry as a key catalyst for investment and exports both locally and internationally;
  • Exploring new evidence-based, safe and sustainable mining options, including offshore oil and gas fracking;
  • Ending illegal mining by increasing competition and opening up the formal mining economy to more players;
  • Exploring the role of local governments in building safer housing communities in mining towns;
  • Reviewing the current Mining Charter; and
  • Drafting proposals on how best to ensure just and meaningful profit sharing exists between mining companies and miners.

Lastly, we must ensure accountability is pursued. Many of the key players involved in the massacre walk free today. Then Police Commissioner, Riah Phiyega, and former Police Minister, Nathi Mthethwa, have never been prosecuted with Mthethwa still serving in Ramaphosa’s Cabinet. The ANCs culture of zero accountability continues unabated under President Ramaphosa.

The conditions that enabled the Marikana massacre to occur still exist today. President Ramaphosa has the power to honour the victims of Marikana by pursuing the reform of our nation’s mining sector. The time for talk is over, the people of South Africa want action.

High Court ruling reaffirms questions about Mkhwebane’s fitness for office

The Democratic Alliance (DA) notes the Pretoria High Court granting President Cyril Ramaphosa an interim interdict to have the implementation of the Public Protector, Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s remedial action against him suspended, pending a judicial review of the Bosasa report.

While the DA believes that the President has a case to answer for and that he must be held to account – we respect the Court’s ruling and will abide by this decision.

Our obligation is to the public and the Constitution. The rule of law is sacrosanct, and if the President believes he has done nothing wrong, then he is well within his rights to take this matter on review and to obtain an interdict.

Today’s ruling does, however, raise questions about Mkhwebane’s fitness for office and is a further blow to her credibility.

It cannot be that the Public Protector staggers from one defeat to the next on an almost weekly basis. The High Court decision reaffirms the DA’s position that Mkhwebane needs to be removed.

While we respect the authority of the Office of the Public Protector and the Constitutional role it serves, we have serious concerns over the competence and independence of the incumbent.

In her almost three years in office, she has on numerous occasions showed the public that she is wholly unsuitable for office.

The DA reiterates its call that Parliament expedite removal proceedings in Mkhwebane. The longer she remains in office, the more she will erode the nation’s faith in this very crucial Chapter 9 institution.

SONA must focus on jobs, the economy, and safety for all

Tomorrow President Cyril Ramaphosa will deliver the State of the Nation Address (SONA) following the 2019 national and provincial elections just 6 weeks ago. Despite the current fractious position we find ourselves in, there remains a collective sense of expectation that just maybe this SONA will mark a break from the past and charter a new way forward for our nation.

Make no mistake, our country is at the precipice and ready for change. Racial, linguistic and nationalist tensions are worryingly high, the economy is a friend to very few, and the overwhelming majority of South Africans live in fear for their lives and livelihoods. Things are fast approaching boiling point, and the time is ripe for social and economic reform.

As Leader of the Official Opposition, I have been steadfast in my approach towards the President. The DA will not be opposition for opposition’s sake. Mr Ramaphosa will have my full support when he acts in the best interests of South Africa. Similarly, he will face the full might of the official opposition when he acts to the contrary.

Tomorrow the President has a unique opportunity to restore confidence in the country by providing policy certainty that steers our economy towards a path of growth and prosperity. A future in which citizens feel safe, corruption is seriously dealt with, and services such as healthcare and education are delivered in a fair manner to all South Africans.

It is our view that in order to do so, he must make bold, uncompromising decisions despite how unpopular they may be within certain factions of his party. The future of South Africa hangs in the balance, and President Ramaphosa must now show the nation that he indeed is fit to lead.

It is within this context that we today set out the DA’s expectations for the State of the Nation Address.

Jobs and the Economy

The only way to create jobs, sustainably lift millions out of poverty, and give people the hope of a future of shared prosperity is an economy growing at much higher levels. Developing economies across the world have demonstrated that when sustained growth is achieved, more jobs are created, salaries and wages increase, and the quality of life is objectively better.

The key impediments to growth are the supply and cost of electricity, labour legislation reform, fundamental policy uncertainty, uncertainty around the protection of property rights, and low levels of investment – both domestic and foreign.

1. Electricity cost and supply

President Ramaphosa needs to announce government’s intention to allow major cities to procure electricity from any capable supplier, establishing a competitive market for power generation that lowers costs – especially for the manufacturing sector. This would in turn create much needed power for the under-resourced national grid, staving off the need for rolling power cuts. Secondly, the President should proceed with the breaking up of Eskom into separate entities, one for generation and the other for supply. This is the most sustainable way of protecting the grid while allowing new producers to come on board.

This should be coupled with a decision to not allow any more bailouts for Eskom. Our country cannot be coal dependent for much longer, and there ought to be a concerted effort to pursue alternative, cleaner energy sources including wind, solar and gas.

  1. Labour Legislation Reform

To mitigate the protracted strikes, the President should implement the DA’s strike ballot proposals. This includes:

  • Making it a requirement for ballots to be held before there is a strike action by unions – a key initiative to ensuring all strike action stems from a democratic decision of workers;
  • Holding labour unions accountable for any damage to public or private property as a result of strike action; and
  • Holding labour unions financially accountable to pay damages to individuals who have successfully brought cases of intimidation and/or assault against trade union members during strike action.

In addition to this, an independent committee tasked with reviewing our rigid labour legislation regime and its impact on investment, growth and job creation should be established.

Our labour policy is some of the most archaic in the world and the main inhibitor to job creation. This labour legislation review would need to include reforming the National Minimum Wage with Sectoral Minimum Wage as the ideal alternative.

We need to explore the option of allowing people to exempt themselves from minimum wage legislation which will allow higher access to work for those unemployed South Africans.

  1. Policy uncertainty

One of the primary inhibitors of inclusive economic growth is the guess game many local and foreign investors have to play when it comes to government policy. There exists very little certainty as to government’s “rules of the game”, with doublespeak occurring on a regular basis.

Providing policy certainty is the “cheapest” stimulus that Ramaphosa could announce as it requires no money and would have a profoundly positive effect on business sentiment and confidence.

This begins with the President at once stopping speculation about the role and nationalisation of the Reserve Bank and end the self-defeating discussion on the expropriation of private property without compensation.

There is also uncertainty in the mining sector causing the near-collapse of the industry, which remains a vital export earner and employer in the economy. The dispute over empowerment requirements must be resolved in favour of investment and growth because a greater empowerment share of an ever-shrinking industry is pointless and does not serve anyone’s interests.

In trade, there is a genuine threat that South Africa will suffer as an innocent victim in a trade war between the trade “superpowers.” This is an opportunity to speak with moral authority and make the case for more open global trade based on mutually agreed rules. We should show leadership in this by working to complete the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) and Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) urgently.

Such announcements would send a clear signal that South Africa is open for business, which would in turn grow our economy and create much needed jobs.

  1. Public investment

In order to invest in infrastructure, we have to cut costs elsewhere as the public purse has run dry. This requires a fundamental spending review focused on the public wage bill, which is clearly unsustainably inflated in favour of very expensive “head office costs” – with not enough allocated to frontline delivery staff like nurses, doctors, teachers, police officers, social workers, and border patrols.

The President should announce a salary freeze on all nonessential public sector posts, with a view to drastically cutting middle management and redirecting that money to funding much needed infrastructure projects across the country.

5. Additional measures

There is an urgent need for SOE reform across the board and the President needs to announce his intention and table a solid plan for full SOE reform of all SOEs.

A moratorium on bailouts to SAA should be announced, and the airline placed in business rescue before the end of June 2019. This would demonstrate that government will not waste another cent on badly run, corrupt SOEs.

The Carbon Tax should be scrapped immediately. It is nothing but a tax on manufacturing, when we should be looking to lower the costs of doing business for manufacturing companies by all means possible. The cost of this tax will be borne disproportionately by ordinary consumers through higher electricity charges and manufacturing businesses and will have no major benefit in reducing carbon emissions, since the greatest emitter is Eskom.


In recent months there has been an unprecedented spike in violent crimes affecting rural and gang-ridden communities. This follows promises made by President Ramaphosa before the elections to bring about rural safety and security in South Africa.

It is high time the President acts and reintroduces rural safety units at once.

South Africans deserve safer communities and an honest and professional police service that actually serves them. However, provinces remain severely under-resourced, under-trained, under-equipped and under-staffed. President Ramaphosa should therefore also announce his intention to devolve the South African Police Service (SAPS) powers to capable provinces so that the SAPS can ensure more efficient and effective planning and responsiveness closer to the ground.


For the past two decades, corruption has seeped into every organ of the state. From the Arms Deal to Nkandla, rooting out corruption requires bold leadership from the very front.

For the past seven months, President Ramaphosa has been embroiled in a corruption scandal relating to Bosasa, a company that has questionable ties to the ANC for over 20 years. The President – and his son, Andile – have allegedly benefitted to the tune of millions from a company well known for bribing government officials. This is now subject to a Public Protector investigation following a complaint I laid.

I have today written to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Thandi Modise, calling for the establishment of an Ad Hoc Committee on the Public Protector’s imminent Bosasa report to interrogate the Bosasa scandal – which includes President Ramaphosa’s dealings.

If the President is truly serious about rooting out corruption, he should have no qualms in publicly supporting my call and subjecting himself to the Ad Hoc committee.

Service Delivery

It is high time the President takes a decisive stand against the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (SADTU) which continues to hold South Africa and its children to ransom. The union has fought against all accountability for teachers, placing the interests of millions of children second to the interests of union bosses.  The implementation of teacher competency tests and principal performance agreements that SADTU has been blocking for half a decade would be a welcome show of independence from the unions by President Ramaphosa, and he should introduce these tomorrow.

To add to the list of dangerous policies that needs to be scrapped must surely be the National Health Insurance (NHI) which is unsustainable and unfeasible. The President needs to announce that that the NHI will be scrapped.


The question that should be on the President’s mind as he addresses the nation tomorrow is where the country is going and how we are going to get there. If his answers to these questions are in the best interests of the people of South Africa, he will have my full support going forward.

Mr Ramaphosa needs to be bold, brave and uncompromising. He ought to place the nation’s interests ahead of the ANCs interest. Only then will we begin to move our country forward.

The Public Protector’s ‘Ramaphosa report’ is 6 months overdue and must be released immediately

The Democratic Alliance (DA) notes reports regarding the leaking of the Public Protector’s report on President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Bosasagate scandal.

Today I will write to the Public Protector, Adv Busisiwe Mkhwebane, requesting that she release the full unredacted report within the next 48 hours.

Over 6 months ago, President Ramaphosa misled Parliament about the R500 000 “donation” received from Bosasa CEO, Gavin Watson, and the clear conflict of interest that exists between him, his son, Andile Ramaphosa and Bosasa. I submitted a complaint to the Public Protector on 23 November 2018 about the President misleading parliament and the conflict of interest in the relationship between the President, his son and Bosasa.

On the 9th of April I met with Adv Mkhwebane to obtain an update on my complaint who confirmed that while she had initially hoped the investigation would be finalised 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. However, noting that the Executive Members’ Ethics Act states that ‘The Public Protector must investigate a complaint on an alleged breach of the code of ethics by a member of the National Assembly and submit a report within 30 days of receipt of the complaint, Adv Mkhwebane’s report is almost 6 months overdue leaving her with no choice but to act immediately and release the report in the interest of the public.

The immediate release of this report will leave no room for further leaks and speculation and allow the public and Parliament to hold President Ramaphosa to account for his actions.

It is high time that Presidents, and their families’ who mislead Parliament are treated as equal before and held to account to the fullest might of the law.

Rural Safety: DA requests meeting with Police Commissioner

Please find attached an English and an Afrikaans soundbite by the Chairperson of the DA’s Parliamentary Caucus, Annelie Lotriet MP.

This morning I learned with great dismay about the cold-blooded murder of Mr. Stefan Smit, a wine farmer from the Louisenhof wine estate in Stellenbosch.

This is the second farm murder in less than a month in the Western Cape and follows short on the heels of the murder of former DA councillor, Annette Kennealy as well as other brutal attacks in Limpopo and elsewhere over the past few weeks.

These attacks and murders are untenable and it is clear that the DA’s long-standing appeal for the integration of rural safety units falls on deaf ears.

Therefore, the DA will today make a request to the South African Police Commissioner, General Khehla Sitole, to urgently meet with him on the attack on our rural communities.

The DA has a clear rural safety plan and we work tirelessly to highlight issues related to rural safety that we will present to General Sitole.

It has also come to our attention that certain groups and organisations are actively inciting  violence in rural areas. We will bring this to the general’s attention and request his urgent intervention.

We have already begun to urge in 2007 that farm murders are represented as separate statistics. Our safety plan, as contained in our manifesto, includes establishing specialised rural safety units consisting of specially trained members of the SAPS.

Shortly before the election, President Cyril Ramaphosa, met with wine farmers at Stellenbosch and made all kinds of election promises, including on rural safety.

However, it is becoming increasingly clear that these are just empty promises and that the president and the ANC have no serious intentions to bring about rural safety and security in South Africa.

The murder of Mr Smit and other farmers, their families and farm workers is tragic and untenable. The DA will be diligent in our fight against rural violence and request the police commissioner to intervene urgently.

The DA extends its heartfelt sympathy and sincere condolences to Mr Smit’s family and friends.