Our duty is to perform oversight over SAPS. We will not be prevented from doing so.

The following remarks were delivered today by Democratic Alliance (DA) Leader, Mmusi Maimane, at the KwaZulu Natal provincial launch of the party’s team One SA campaign outside the SAPS Provincial Headquarters in eThekwini. Maimane was joined by DA KwaZulu Natal Premier Candidate, Zwakele Mncwango.

Fellow South Africans,

Today marks the start of the DA’s provincial election campaign here in KZN. Over the coming months, under the leadership of our Provincial Leader and Premier candidate, Zwakele Mncwango, we will take our message of “Change that builds one South Africa for all” to every town and village in this province.

Our campaign is about sharing our message with voters, but it’s also about listening to them. Whenever I speak to people about what concerns them most, the same two issues always appear at the very top of the list: Jobs and crime. No matter where we are and who we’re speaking to, people are most worried about finding employment and about being safe in their own community.

If we can’t find a way to address these two critical issues, then we have no chance at turning our country around and securing a better tomorrow. And it is this second issue – crime and safety – that I want to speak about today.

Across South Africa, communities are under attack every day from criminals who not only have no respect for the law, but also have no more fear of law enforcement. They do just as they please, leaving innocent citizens terrorized and traumatized in their homes, their streets, their schools and their work places.

Criminals have become brazen because they know our Police Service is so under-resourced, under-funded and under-trained that there is very little chance of them being caught. That’s why poor communities have become gang lands. That’s why drug dealers target young children outside their schools. That’s why we have the highest rape statistics in the world, and a murder rate that puts us on par with a country at war.

I will not accept that this is the way it should be, and neither will my colleagues. It is not only our duty as citizens, but our sworn duty as Members of Parliament and Members of Provincial Legislatures to perform oversight over SAPS – not to wave a finger at them, but to help identify where they are falling short and how this can be rectified.

That is our Constitutional duty, and it is very clearly set out in a Parliamentary document called the Oversight and Accountability Model. But here in KZN we are being prevented from doing our work. The Acting Provincial Police Commissioner has decided to instruct all police clusters and station commanders not to cooperate with MPs and MPLs who arrive to conduct oversight visits.

Lieutenant General Mkhwanazi sent out a memo telling all cluster commanders not to share any information with any public representatives, and particularly DA reps. There were occasions where he sent SMSs to station commanders when he knew MPs or MPLs were on their way there, telling them not to cooperate in the oversight visit. Fearing for their jobs, these commanders have no choice but to obey him.

We even heard of a police officer who is now facing disciplinary action for cooperating with MPs during an oversight visit. This is simply unacceptable. Any SAPS member who finds him or herself victimized or intimidated for allowing public representatives to perform their Constitutional duty can count on the support of the DA.

General Mkhwanazi is wrong. He is legally wrong, Constitutionally wrong and morally wrong. Whether he has issued this directive by himself, or whether he is acting on the instruction of someone else, it will not stand. The DA – and any other party – has both a right and an obligation to perform oversight. This oversight can be either pre-announced or unannounced. And I assure you, we will continue to perform our duty, whether General Mkhwanazi likes it or not.

We have been doing so for decades, and the effect of this oversight has always been an improvement of the conditions, the equipment or the morale at the stations in question. Oversight is not a finger-pointing exercise. It is a thorough assessment of where the gaps exist and what can be done to fill them.

Our reps have always had extremely constructive engagements with station commanders. The Station Monitoring Tool – a document drawn up by the Police Sub-committee in Parliament – is able to compile a detailed picture of a station’s weaknesses and shortcomings. One hour with a station commander using this tool is often worth weeks of work far away in a committee meeting.

We will not allow petty politics and ego to get in the way of the important work our public reps do. This is not about point scoring. This is about trying to keep people safe by ensuring that their local police are able to respond to crime and apprehend criminals.

We know how important this issue is to millions of South Africans, which is why it is one of the DA’s key focus points as we head into next year’s elections. We made a pledge to the people of SA that we will overhaul SAPS and turn it into an honest, professional organisation that is able to protect and serve all the communities in our country.

As we launch our KZN provincial election campaign today here in Durban, I would like to reiterate this pledge. The DA will not rest until people feel safe in their homes, and criminals feel unsafe.

Our election campaign message is about change that builds one SA for all, but we cannot build a prosperous, united and inclusive South Africa if we are being held hostage in our own communities by thugs. That’s why a DA government will turn the tables on criminals by transforming SAPS into a well-staffed, well-trained and well-resourced crime fighting machine.

We will root out corruption in the Police Service, we will re-train existing officers to ensure that they can serve and protect the public with pride, we will only hire people who display a true passion for policing, we will establish a world-class drug-busting force within SAPS and we will ensure that effective arrests are followed by effective prosecution and conviction of criminals.

That is the DA’s pledge to the people of South Africa, and the people of KZN. And so I urge you to join us in this fight to take back our streets from criminals by lending us your support and your vote next year.

If we then should disappoint you, then take your vote back. But first give us a chance to prove to you what we can do. Together we can build one South Africa that works for all and in which everyone is safe from crime.

Thank you.

Zwakele Mncwango will lead the DA’s fight to bring real change to KwaZulu Natal

The following remarks were delivered today by DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane, at the announcement of the DA’s Premier Candidate for KwaZulu Natal, at the Ohlange High School in Inanda, eThekwini. Maimane was joined by DA KZN Provincial Chairperson, Francois Rodgers.

Today I am pleased to be here at Ohlange High School in eThekwini to announce that the DA’s Federal Executive (FedEx) has ratified the nomination of Zwakele Mncwango as the Democratic Alliance’s Premier Candidate for KZN in the 2019 Election.

The ground we stand on today holds significance for not just our country’s past, but the direction we take in building our country’s future. This school was founded in 1900 by John Dube, who was the first President of the ANC.

Dube, along with his wife, Nokutela, made history as Ohlange became the first school in South Africa to be founded by a black South African. Many South Africans have passed through the doors of Ohlange, Chief Albert Luthuli among them. And it was within the walls of this school that the Father of our Nation, Tata Madiba, chose to cast his first vote in the first democratic elections on 27 April 1994.

Mandela, Luthuli and Dube were indeed heroes of their time. Pioneers who, in the face of adversity, held onto their conviction and fought for a free, democratic South Africa.

These heroes fulfilled their roles but were sadly followed by a group of individuals who have forgotten the plight of our people and have used their power to make themselves and their friends rich. The province of KwaZulu Natal is a striking example of this betrayal of the people by today’s ANC and its leaders.

KwaZulu Natal has the potential to be a province that can create jobs and opportunities for our people. But it’s taken a wrong turn from the path envisaged at the dawn of our democracy. Crime is rising, corruption is oppressing us and there is no fair access to jobs. This is not what we were promised.

The dominance of the ANC means they have become complacent and focused on enriching only themselves. Not only have they failed to create jobs for the people of KZN or keep them safe from crime, they don’t even know how to. They are no longer capable of managing the real problems the people of KZN face each day.

The truth is that until the ANC is removed from power, Utsotsi abakayi ndawo.

The tstoti’s have not just found their political home in the ANC, but the ANC has become the very vehicle through which they steal, loot, and even kill. KZN is a province marred by political killings, whereby ANC members resort to murdering each other in order to gain access to power and public funds.

Just two days ago, an ANC councillor was arrested for the murder of a fellow ANC councillor in Msunduzi, just less that 100kms from here. The findings of the Moerane Commission, which was set up to investigate political killings in the province, appear to be so explosive that its final report was withheld from the public and only tabled in a closed meeting in the KZN provincial legislature. Despite constant pressure from the DA, Premier Willies Mchunu refuses to release the report.

There is no doubt that the ANC’s patronage network, in-fighting for resources in government, and other internal ANC battles are the reasons behind these political killings. While the ANC fight each other, no one is fighting for the people of KZN.

Unemployment is on the rise, the provincial health department is on its knees – leading to the ongoing oncology crisis, and poverty is rampant. There has been a breakdown in basic governance, as many residents are without water, electricity, and basic services.

This is because the ANC has become the problem. It has failed and will continue to fail the people of South Africa. The values of the heroes of previous generations – such as Mandela, Dube and Sisulu – have long since left the ranks of the ANC.

Today, we desperately need a new generation of 21st century leaders that stand for the values of Freedom, Fairness, Opportunity and Diversity, to lead the charge in removing the failing and corrupt ANC from government. I have no doubt Zwakele Mncwango represents such a generation.

Zwakele has a vision for KZN that will see access to jobs for all, the eradication of poverty and inequality, and where all are united in our diversity – where it be race, religion or culture.

Born and raised in Nongoma in rural KZN, Zwakele is a son of the KwaMandlakazi tribe. His father was a security guard in Durban and his mother was a Hawker in Nongoma selling by taxi ranks and town streets. His parents worked hard to ensure that their family had something to eat and to pay school fees. As a young boy, Zwakele spent his afternoons looking after the family cattle and goats after walking 10 kilometres to and from school.

Zwakele has overcome the odds and has a National Diploma in Electrical Engineering, a Bachelor of Technology in Engineering Management, and a Master’s in Business Administration. From humble beginnings as a branch member canvassing for the party, Zwakele has risen through the ranks of the DA and is currently the DA Leader in KwaZulu Natal. He also serves on the DA’s Federal Executive and Federal Council.

From today, he will  lead a team that will be committed to fighting corruption, working to fix the police service in the province so that it focuses on actually protecting and serving the people of KZN, fighting the scourge of drug abuse, creating fair access to real and long-term jobs and working to speed up the delivery of basic services to our people.

In a province of competing forms of nationalism – be they racial, cultural or religious – the DA stands alone in its offer of a multiracial, multicultural and multi-religious future. Zwakele will lead this charge in the province of KZN.

Today, I pledge the full support of the national leadership to Zwakele in his campaign to bring change to KZN. Only the DA can bring change that builds a better future for all in KZN.

Values, Vision, Victory

My friends,

It is wonderful to be here in beautiful KwaZulu Natal.

This province has defined our national political trends over the last decade, and it is the province where so much of our party’s future fortunes will be decided.

Looking out at this Congress today, I see a party that is truly alive and growing – bigger than it has ever been, the Official Opposition in this province, with more support than it has ever had, and with more activists, branches, from 150 councilors to 201 and public representatives than ever before.

Just two years ago our party achieved what only a few years prior would have been considered an impossibility, a miracle.

We won government in Johannesburg, Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay; we won a two-thirds majority in Cape Town, and we grew our support among black South Africans across the country.

Some of these we govern in coalition, demonstrating again that South Africa works best in partnership. Our wonderful country brings together disparate histories and peoples under one Constitution. We must foster this unity and be proud of it.

There is honour in working together and finding common ground.

Some want to break down this compact, they want us to regress, they destroy schools and hark back to a time where political slogans were about a threat of violence and murder.

Not here, not in the DA.

I don’t care who finds it inconvenient or unpopular, but as long as I am leading this party we will be the flag-bearers for a non-racial united South Africa where all share in the sunlight. Not just in words but in deeds. Sisonke.

We have shown we could do what others considered impossible – build a truly multiracial, multiethnic party of government, not based on cynicism or the divides of the past — but built on a bright hope for the future.

I am so proud of what we have achieved in those new governments since then. We have shown, and are still showing the DA difference in action.

But in politics you are only ever as strong as your last election result, and you are often at your weakest after your greatest victory.

As I look out from this stage, 18 months after that triumphant August of 2016, the view ahead is filled with danger and risk.

The political playing field has changed.

No longer can we satisfy ourselves by merely taking on the man from Nkandla, who has so harmed our country this past decade, and who gave us an easy target to aim at.

And our party is learning the painful lessons of all fast-growing organisations. Our focus has been easily diverted from our core goal by navel-gazing, division, and jockeying for position.

The pursuit of power can easily overtake the pursuit of our ideals.

Let us not kid ourselves, friends.

We have even confronted the ugly and uncomfortable truth that not every DA government will always live up to the standard we set for ourselves. Some will “fall short of the glory”, as the Apostle Paul wrote.

Now, when this happens we face a choice. This is the choice the Democratic Alliance faces today.

We can allow ourselves to be consumed by division and fighting.

We can be consumed by the voices of the cynics and the critics, who write us off so glibly and who have always done so before.

Or we can prove to ourselves and to the nation who we really are, and who we are fighting for.

We can grow and be a real alternative government, or we can shrink into oblivion.

Either we can be tempered by the fire, or we can be burned by it.

I will tell you what my choice is.

Now, more than ever, we are the Democratic Alliance.

To the critics and cynics, I say: Watch us prove you wrong again.

If we are to navigate the storms ahead, we must be firmly anchored in our values and principles, and our own vision for South Africa.

With that anchor, we can boldly go out and face any storm and know that we will come out the other side more resilient, and more committed than ever to our mission.

So let us never forget who we are:

We are committed to the country we all love so much.

We love and cherish the Constitution of the Republic, whose values and vision were nurtured by our political ancestors.

We believe that “South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity”, not as beautiful words on a page, but as a value to live by.

We believe South Africa can emerge from the ashes of apartheid as a strong, united and prosperous people. One nation, with one future.

We know our cause is right.

We have a deep conviction that only our policies and our core liberal democratic principles can make South Africa prosper.

We do not exist just to scare the ANC into better behaviour. Nor we do exist to remain in perpetual opposition.

We are in this because we know that South Africa must “one day be governed by our values, because that is the only way it can be governed.”

In short, if the DA does not succeed, South Africa will not succeed.

I will commit my whole life to this ideal.

We want to win power. We want to be the government of South Africa.

Winning power and beating the ANC will be the first step in our true mission.

A philosopher who I admire once wrote, worry not about the platform you occupy, worry that you have something worthwhile to say.

Equally, worry not about the office you hold, worry more that you have something worthwhile to do.

We have mayors who have high office with great power. But they must use their power to confront the plight of the poor and the left out.

We must worry about that, we must get angry about that.

We must be uncomfortable and unsettled in our hearts and spirits about that!

If you are not concerned and obsessed with the fundamental injustice and unfairness in our society, then as our former Leader Tony Leon once put it, “the exits to this hall are clearly marked, and you should please use them now”.

That is why we exist. That is why we want to win power.

Not power for power’s sake, but because only we can build a better future. No one else can do it!

This is who we are, and let us never forget it.

Others talk of care for the downtrodden and the excluded. But look at our country today. It is still fundamentally the same as it has always been.

Our country is still defined by the chasm between those for whom freedom is real and opportunity is accessible;

And those for whom life is largely decided for them by where they are born and what they look like.

We are still a nation of insiders and outsiders.

We hear those who claim to really care about freedom, but who do nothing to dismantle the legacy of apartheid education which still imprisons young, black people.

We hear those who claim to really care about fairness, but who enforce a kind of new job reservation for their friends and connected few.

We hear those who claim to really care about opportunity, but who see only the opportunity for plunder and theft.

This is our mission – to build a South Africa where your chances in life are not defined by where you are born or the colour of your skin.

Where education is a liberator that sets you up for life.

Where everyone who wants to work can find a job. Where young people can feel a sense of hope about their future.

Where the corrupt will be caught and punished.

Where people can feel safe to walk the streets or let their children play in the park.

Our Values in Practice

During the terrible hopelessness and violence of apartheid, it was us who nurtured the idea that South Africa could be a constitutional democracy.

Individual liberty protected by the Bill of Rights, freedom of religion, freedom of speech and press, the security of private property, equality before the law, language rights — all of this has been achieved and we can be proud of our contribution in nurturing these ideas.

But now that the Constitutional framework has been established, and our party is in government, our values must move from theory to practice.

People must see how our values lead to a better life over time, and a more accountable government.

People must expect us to be better and different.

And know that even when we fall short or trip up, we will say so and fix it.

Most importantly, now that the Constitution protects all people, we must make it our mission to fight for those who are still excluded, cut off and kept out.

That is why we get up every day to work for the Democratic Alliance.

For the people of uMkhanyakude, where 72.2% of families live in poverty. Or uMzinyathi where 71.1% live in poverty. Or iLembe (71%), or uMgungundlovu (67.5%), or even right here in eThekwini, where 54.6% of people live in poverty.

For the 865 000 little boys and girls in this province who do not attend any early childhood development, putting them behind before they’ve even started primary school.

For the children who attend the 343 schools in this province that do not even have electricity or the 93 that don’t have water.

And for the more than 600 000 young boys and girls who start grade 1 each year that will not finish Matric.

For those young people who wake up with nothing to do and no work to go to, those who feel daily the pain of hunger, those who go to schools where teachers don’t arrive for work.

For the victims and the families of the Life Esidimeni tragedy, the greatest sin ever committed by an ANC government, a pain that we will never forget or forgive.

For those patients who will die, and who have already died, in this province because of an oncology crisis that should never have been allowed to happen.

These South Africans are the reason we exist, and the reason we get up each day.

For them, it makes no difference who the leader of the ANC is. For them, there is no “New Deal”.

Especially when the new leader was there watching all the sins of the old.

How does this change their lives in Ugu and uThukela? It doesn’t!

That is our great cause and opportunity.

Those South Africans must be able to look to the DA for hope for their own lives.

They must know that a DA government would give them immediate reason to be optimistic again about the future.

Not in 10 or 15 years. Now!

For them, we must build a party that reflects their hopes, their dreams and their current realities.

We must be present in their lives and their communities.

They must be able to look to us for hope and call on us for help.

And we better not waste time fighting about a person here or a tweet there. We better focus on what we need to achieve for our country.

Whoever is elected to lead you in KZN today, the mission is the same: we must build a real relationship of trust with those whom freedom and democracy has left behind.

Land of Opportunity

We must also rise to the challenge of asserting our values in the context of traditional and customary law, which is perhaps most relevant in this province.

One of the most important ways to change the lives of poor rural people immediately is to give them the security of knowing that their land cannot be seized or expropriated from them arbitrarily by a capricious state or traditional leader.

President Motlanthe, in his High Level Panel Report, has identified this as a core reason for rural poverty in South Africa.

We are the party that will protect the Constitutional guarantee of property rights, even while all those around us seek to abandon that cornerstone of progress in every society.

That is why we must stand up for the property rights of poor rural people living on tribal land, and let them know that under a DA government they will have security of tenure for the land their families have lived and worked on for decades.

They will then be able to invest in and grow their farms and turn unproductive land into land of opportunity.

That does not mean that traditional leadership must be dismantled. Not at all.

We must secure the land rights of rural people and ensure that those rights are legally enforceable and democratically protected.

We must also make sure that complaints of people who say they are mistreated and whose rights are infringed are investigated and resolved.

Rights must apply to everyone equally. To the powerful and the powerless. That is our fight.

What Kind of Party do we want?

This is the kind of South Africa we want.

Now what kind of DA do we want to get us there.

We need to be grounded in our values, confident in our mission and clear on what we want to achieve.

We must be relentless in winning new voters and supporters to our side.

We must constantly be building new branches in areas where we are absent.

We must be more diverse.

Let me say that again. We must be more diverse, reflecting every wonderful facet of our society.

In the past we have been excellent at winning support from minority voters. Now we must boldly go out and win support from black South Africans.

I hope that every person who calls themselves a DA leader in this room is helping to actively recruit excellent young black candidates for our 2019 election lists. Let’s set ourselves the goal of having the most diverse team of candidates ever for election 2019.

We are not interested in replacing one race with another. We are not interested in quotas.

We are not interested in only coloured people, or only white people, or only black people, or only Indian people. We are a party for coloured South Africans and black South Africans and white South Africans and Indian South Africans. For ALL the people, united in our diversity.

The DA is the only party where everyone can sit around the same table. Where everyone can have an equal voice.

Others divide. We unite.

Others burn down and destroy, we build up.

From where I stand today, our achievements of the last two years are shining examples of what we are capable of at our best.

The future is full of risk and danger, but also full of opportunity.

From here we must move out boldly and confidently to fight for those who are left out and forgotten, armed with our firm principles and our policies, and confident that only we can build a prosperous, united South Africa.

That is why we must govern.

That is why we will govern!

Nkosi Sikelel iAfrica

Thank you!

SADTU once again shows disregard for the safety and future of our children

The decision by the KwaZulu-Natal branch of the South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) to hold a march during school hours today is reckless and unfair on learners as they cannot afford to miss school during this time.
The final matric exams are about to start and these play an immense role in the post-school future of learners. Learners deserve to enter this stressful and important period with the full support of the educators and school structures. It is therefore irresponsible for SADTU to toy with our children’s safety and learning for their own ends.
This is exactly the kind of situation where key staff members should be at schools to ensure learner safety as there is a great risk of children being abandoned while educators and principals are marching.
The DA believes that principals and deputy principals form part of these key staff members. As leaders, they must be present at schools to provide adult supervision and ensure that arrangements are made to keep learners safe whenever there are strikes.
We have already met with the Essential Services Committee regarding making principals, deputy principals and other crucial staff members an essential service and placing reasonable limits on their right strike.
The DA will keep pushing for this as it is the right of every child to learn in a safe environment, sheltered from intimidation and violence. We are also in the process of submitting a formal application to have certain basic education posts declared an essential service.
Many South African children have no other place to go during school hours and the recent spate of school violence against learners shows that a lack of supervision is a very serious problem. SADTU can no longer use the future of our children as bargaining chips.
The DA will ensure that the needs of learners are prioritised and their rights are upheld.

DA welcomes confirmation that the ANC will appear before Moerane Commission of Inquiry

The Democratic Alliance welcomes the news that the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal has finally broken its silence and will testify before the Moerane Commission of Inquiry into political killings.
ANC Spokesperson, Mdumiseni Ntuli, has confirmed the party was “preparing to appear before the commission”.
I will now write to KZN ANC Chairperson, Sihle Zikalala, requesting him to commit to a time and date for the ANC to appear before the Commission, as well as urge him to disclose all knowledge that he and his party may have regarding political murders in the province, even if it results in implicating senior leaders in the ANC.
Anything short of this would be disingenuous and withholding the truth from the public.
After losing so many councillors in KZN as a result of ANC factional battles, it would be extraordinary if they did not provide all relevant details to the commission.
The DA is committed to seeking justice for all those that have been killed as a result of political violence and trying to stop corruption in KZN.

DA demands transport for children who walk for hours to get an education

Note to editors: Please see pictures here, here and here
This morning, DA leaders walked to school with learners from Ukuthula Secondary in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). Each morning these learners must walk 10 kilometres just in the hope of getting an education.
For too long the provincial government in KZN has promised to provide safe and reliable scholar transport but continue to abandon the learners of Ukuthula Secondary and more than 42 000 other learners in the province.
This will be the first of many walks the DA will go on to highlight how these learners are continuously let down, by KZN MEC of Education, Mthandeni Dlungwane, and ultimately by the national Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshegka, who cannot ensure our learners have transport to school.
What is of serious concern is that the KZN Department of Basic Education has the funds to ensure that fewer children are subjected to these long walks that compromise their education.
As of the fourth quarter of the 2016/17 financial year, the department failed to spend a massive 60% of their budget for the current plans in place, which only accounts for half of the learners who need transport. This failure is simply offensive.
We cannot expect our children to perform to the best of their ability when they have to worry about getting safely to school and they are exhausted before even starting their day. Many children also miss school because they do not have transport.
The KZN education department is continuously failing the children of the province by not spending what they have been allocated but more than that, they have also failed to apply for funding so that the 42 000 children not planned for, can get access to transport to school.
A reply to a DA Parliamentary question shows that KZN, along with other provinces, has not applied for additional funding to cover a combined shortfall of R640 million for school transport nationally, which would allow for all children, having to walk more than 10kms to school, to be covered.
Many children risk life and limb daily just to learn and the ruling ANC government is content to turn a blind eye to their struggles.
The DA is firmly committed to ensuring learners across the country receive scholar transport so that they are able to focus solely on learning and developing themselves so that they can have a better future.

DA to lay charges of culpable homicide against Minister Motsoaledi and MEC Dhlomo

Tomorrow, 26 July 2017, my colleague, Dr Imran Keeka, and I will lay charges of culpable homicide against the Minister of Health, Aaron Motsolaedi, and the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Health MEC, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, for the deaths of the more than 300 cancer patients who tragically died on their watch.
Section 98 of the Criminal Procedures Act states that “it shall be sufficient in a charge of culpable homicide to allege that the accused unlawfully killed the deceased”- the actions by the Minister and the MEC were unlawful and led to hundreds of cancer patients losing their lives.
The DA will lay these charges based on the South African Human Rights Commission’s (SAHRC) Report on the state of Health Services in KwaZulu-Natal, which contained damning findings against both, the Provincial and the National, Departments of Health.
The report found that both the Provincial and the National Departments of Health were complicit in the violation of “the rights to human dignity and life of the affected patients” when they “failed to take reasonable measures to progressively realise the right to have access to health care services in the KZN province”.
Further, the report found that the Departments’ failure to provide access to adequate oncology services also “violated the rights to human dignity and life of the affected patients”.
The DA has repeatedly called for Dhlomo to be removed from his position, but the KZN Health Department has shown time and again that they lack the will and leadership, to hold the MEC accountable for his inaction.
When the lives of our citizens are at stake, health official must protect them, and not their cronies who neglected their duties.
The DA will work tirelessly to ensure that the sick and vulnerable in KwaZulu-Natal have access to the life-saving oncology treatment they deserve and are entitled to in terms of the Constitution of your country.

DA welcomes tabling of SAHRC report into KZN oncology crisis before Parliament

The South African Human Rights Commission’s (SAHRC) damning report containing findings on the state of health services in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) has been tabled in Parliament for the Portfolio Committee on Health to scrutinise. The DA will do everything possible during this process to ensure that justice is served for the gross failures which this report exposes.
In 2016, my colleague, Dr Imran Keeka MPL , the DA KZN Spokesperson on Health, lodged a formal complaint with the SAHRC based on allegations that the KZN Health Department was violating the rights of cancer patients, after it came to light that cancer patients did not have access to proper healthcare services; including severe shortages of staff and a lack of functional health technology machines for screening, diagnosing and treating cancer at KZN hospitals.
The lack of services to cancer patients in the province has potentially resulted in the deaths of no less than 300 cancer patients. The report notes that the “Department advised that the average waiting period for a patient to be seen by an oncologist is five months whereas those waiting to receive radiotherapy usually wait 8 months”. This is akin to a death sentence.
Health officials were also found to “have violated the rights of the patients with cancer at the Addington and IALC Hospitals to have access to health care services as a result of their failure to comply with applicable norms and standards set out in legislation and policies”.
Moreover, the SAHRC report found that there was a failure to:

  • evaluate and identify the need for functional equipment;
  • procure, maintain and put in place adequate functional equipment;
  • provide access to adequate oncology services also violate the rights to human dignity and life of the affected patients; and
  •  monitor and evaluate the health needs of oncology patients in the province.

The DA will now scrutinise this report in order to ensure that all those who are responsible for the KwaZulu-Natal oncology crisis is held to account. Their failures were a violation of the rights to human dignity and life of the affected patients.
To date, there has been very little justice for those who lost their lives as a result of the gross negligence of local health officials – despite the binding recommendations in the SAHRC report, and patients living with cancer in KZN continue to face an uncertain treatment future.
It is now up to Parliament to perform in its mandate and hold the MEC, Provincial Health Department and the National Health Department accountable for their utter failure.
The DA will not rest until SAHRC’s recommendations are fully implemented.
Tomorrow, Dr Keeka and I will conduct an oversight visit to the affected Hospitals in KwaZulu-Natal.
Details of the visit are as follows:
Date: Monday, 7 July 2017
Time: 10:00
Venue: Addington Hospital, later proceeding to the Inkosi Abert Luthuli Central Hospital at 12:30.

DA Gaining Momentum Towards the 2019 Election

The following statement was delivered today by DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane, at a press briefing following a two-day sitting of the Party’s Federal Council in Durban, KwaZulu Natal. Maimane was joined by the Chairperson of the Federal Council, James Selfe.
The Democratic Alliance wishes all South Africans of the Muslim faith a happy and blessed Eid Mubarak.
We today concluded a two-day Federal Council meeting in Durban to attend to a number of pressing matters concerning the country. Since the last sitting of the DA’s Federal Council, there has been a seismic shift in South Africa’s political landscape. The state capture that the DA warned about in 2013 is now an undisputed reality.
In this light, our country is approaching the most important election since the dawn of democracy. The 2019 General Elections will define whether South Africa can turn around our present decline, and grow to be the prosperous modern democracy that we envisage. We know what many voters are realising day by day – the ANC cannot self correct, and we are determined that Election 2019 will see the end of the ANC’s occupation of the Union Buildings.
The Federal Council this weekend unpacked the latest DA polling data revealing that the DA is gaining ground on the ANC. It is greatly encouraging to report that the ANC is polling below 50%, which means that it can be unseated at the next election.
It is time for all South Africans to unite against the corrupt Gupta-led ANC and to vote for change at the next election. Over the next 700 days, the DA’s primary focus will be to prepare for national government and to mount an election campaign of unprecedented scale and reach.
A crucial part of achieving this objective is developing a policy offer that is compelling and credible. To this end, the Federal Council discussed a number of key policy areas for further development including: jobs and the economy, education, land reform, health, and human settlements.
Through our vigorous and thorough policy process, we will offer a complete suite of policy positions for national government. This remains one of our key focuses in the lead up to 2019.
Of equal importance is ensuring an expanded pool of excellent, diverse and hard-working DA candidates for the 2019 national and provincial elections. In this regard, we considered proposed amendments to the DA’s candidate selection process.
The DA is the only political party that rigorously assesses the performance of all its public representatives and holds them to a performance agreement. We believe that public representatives must be accountable and available, must be well informed on their portfolios, must be involved in their communities, and must contribute positively in their legislatures.
We have worked on streamlining our performance evaluation system, and have now launched our new Political Performance Assessment System (PPAS). The new system is entirely digitised and optimised for mobile technology, so that performance assessment for all DA public representatives can be tracked live via a mobile app. The new system has already gone live, and is being used by all provinces in a individual target setting process for all public representatives.
Federal Council also recognised the crucial role that our track record of good governance will play in increasing our support in 2019. To this end, Federal Council noted the DA’s strong performance in the Western Cape where we are continuing to deliver excellent results.
The Western Cape Premier’s Office was this week praised by the Auditor General as being most actively engaged in helping to improve audit outcomes and deliver sound, clean financial management of public monies. Under DA leadership, 80% of Western Cape municipalities got clean audits, with KwaZulu Natal in second place with just 18% clean audits. The City of Cape Town was the only metro to receive a clean audit in the 2015/16 financial year. Moreover, the DA-run Midvaal was the only municipality in Gauteng to get a clean audit in 2015/16.
The Federal Council considered detailed reports on the monitoring and evaluation of the four DA-run Metro Municipalities, namely Johannesburg, Tshwane, Nelson Mandela Bay and Cape Town. What is overwhelmingly evident is that the scale of the financial mismanagement and corruption inherited from the previous ANC administrations in the three new DA run metros is far worse than was even imagined. However, after just 10 months of governance, we are seeing the tide turn in all of our new metros.
Some of the notable highlights are:

  • All four metros have passed their first Integrated Development Plans (IDPs) and annual budgets under DA governments. These budgets provide for the massive re-direction of funds towards infrastructure investment and maintenance, basic service delivery improvement, the upgrading of informal settlements and delivery to the poor. In addition we are making sure there are larger additional allocations to fighting crime and drugs, and to improving economic investment so as to create jobs. In order to do these things, we are cutting waste and ruthlessly rooting out corruption, and this work will intensify. We have no tolerance for those who steal or waste public money meant for the poor.


  • We have increased the allocation to the City’s EPWP programme, which will see 23 000 additional job opportunities over the 2017/18 financial year, with the city allocating R122 million towards this.
  • The city will invest R480 million over the medium term on basic services in informal settlements to begin addressing the unacceptable living conditions in many of the City’s settlements.
  • The formalisation of 7 informal settlements is underway. This will see a total of 2300 homes connected to water and sewerage reticulation in these informal settlements.


  • R13 billion has been allocated to infrastructure investment and maintenance over the medium term
  • The City’s target over the next 3 years is to upgrade 51 informal settlements. A budget of R115 million has been allocated for the electrification of informal settlements.

Nelson Mandela Bay

  • In tackling crime in the city, the DA committed in its manifesto to establish a dedicated Metro Police service. We are pleased to report that over 220 metro police officers are now employed and operational, ensuring greater safety for NMB residents. The Metro Police will be expanded continuously to address the high prevalence of drug abuse in the Metro.

The theme emerging from this DA Federal Council is clear: time is running out to save South Africa. Our current government is slowly destroying our precious country, with the ANC on course to lose the next election. The DA will work night and day to unseat the corrupt Gupta-led ANC government from office. We have set goals and targets for the Road to 2019, and we will work tirelessly to achieve them.