Our unity is our strength, our unity will topple Zuma

Fellow South Africans, the events of the last few weeks have seen South Africans put their differences aside in order to join a united and emergent movement for change.
This is a movement that has seen hundreds of thousands march to Parliament, the Union Buildings and fill the streets of Johannesburg. This movement has brought together business and labour; rich and poor; black and white, all saying the same thing: Zuma must go and South Africa must come first.
Bagaetso, the poet James T. Adair, reminds us that There Is Beauty In The Struggle. There is beauty in the tough times we are facing. This crisis has brought us together. We are united behind putting the country first. We are united in getting rid of those who only undermine the project of building a diverse and growing economy that creates jobs.
We cannot allow this moment of crisis to pass without also seizing the opportunity for unprecedented unity of purpose and action. Now is the time, and we may never see an opportunity like this again.
Jacob Zuma would never have guessed that he would unite the country like never before – in defense of the Constitution, against corruption, against the self-interested destruction of our economy, and against the private capture of our state. Jacob Zuma has united the country – against him.
For years South Africans have called for greater co-operation between opposition parties and civil society. While some progress has been made in the past, it has been halting and painstaking. But sometimes political change happens one step at a time, and sometimes it happens all together and quickly. We are in such a time.
We cannot be distracted by our own hang-ups and baggage, or differences in approach or in policy. By the time we have ironed out all of those differences, the country will be left in tatters. No, we must seize the moment and move forward now, together.
We must prepare ourselves for a post-Zuma, post-ANC future. And that future is brighter than ever! But we must cut out our current national cancer.
We are not saying Zuma must go because we merely oppose him politically, as he has said. We are making this important call because he does not have respect for the country, the Constitution and the people. Jacob Zuma only cares about himself and getting rich at your expense. We are making this call because for as long as Zuma occupies the Union Buildings, the poor and jobless will continue to suffer.
The other day, Zuma was asking for the church to pray for South Africa “so that the respect can come back”. Indeed, respect must come back.
Any president with respect for the responsibility of his Office, and for the sanctity of the Constitution, would have resigned a long time ago.
Any President with respect for the people he is elected to serve, would not steal money, build a palace, or sell the government to the Guptas.
Jacob Zuma has no respect. No respect for the suffering of the poor. No respect for the unemployed who need our country to succeed and grow.
Zuma has sabotaged the country’s economy – now reduced to “junk status” – all for his riches and his own agenda.
Respect for the Constitution must come back, because if there was respect for the highest law of the land, Zuma would have gone, or the ANC would have removed him.
Zuma is the most disrespectful citizen in the country. He has no respect for the country and the people. He is not fit to be called South Africa’s Head of State. Zuma must fall!
We are not backing down. We are determined to ensure that we build a better South Africa.
To the people in the ANC who continue to endorse Zuma, along with his deliberate programme of destroying the country, I want to ask you: How do you sleep at night? How do you look at your children and grandchildren, well knowing that you are personally playing a part in ensuring that there is no future for them?
You have sold their futures to Zuma and the Guptas. Now South Africa is rising up together to get those futures back!
Children do not hate the ANC because they are taught to do so at school. Children hate the ANC because of what the ANC does. Children see when the ANC-led government does not deliver text books and sabotages their futures.
Things are bad now but let me tell you this, Zuma and the ANC will not be around forever. Once the people have dealt with the Zuma problem, the people will deal with the ANC problem by teaching them a lesson at the ballot box in 2019.
The people of South Africa will rise up and punish the ANC for their continued support of Zuma. The people will punish the ANC for not listening, and for protecting and supporting this President.
Fellow South Africans, our work does not end when the marches and protests are over. By the time we are done, Zuma will know exactly what stress feels like. When we are done with Zuma and the ANC, hope for a better South Africa will be restored, and we will turn that hope into reality.
This united movement for change belongs to the people, and as the DA, along with the other Opposition Parties, we will always take up the people’s fight!
Ke a leboga. Baie dankie. I thank you.

Zuma’s comments on mass marches confirms that he does not care about the people

Hundreds of thousands of South Africans of all races took to the streets on Friday to express, with a united voice, one clear and unassailable message: Zuma must go.
President Zuma’s comments today slamming these mass marches across the country and claiming that they were inspired by racism clearly shows that he is out of touch with the South African public’s very valid anger over his destructive leadership.
As a direct result of Zuma’s midnight reshuffle, our country has been downgraded by two ratings agencies to junk status.
His irrational actions will have a massively negative effect on the poorest in our country who are mostly black. The fact that he cannot or chooses not to see this only confirms that Zuma governs like black lives do not matter.
His comments also undermine legitimate protests and exposes how little he cares about South Africans and their concerns.
If Zuma refuses to hear the people’s cries, we must make sure he does. We have the power to do so and must march en masse so that he will have no choice but to hear us.
The DA will join other political party’s on Wednesday, 12 April, to march to the Union Buildings and we invite all South African’s to join us so we can, in one and united voice, make it clear that enough is enough, Zuma must go.

Let’s unite in a new Movement for Change

Note to Editors: The following speech was delivered by DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane, at the DA’s “March for Change” in Johannesburg this morning.
 
My fellow South Africans,
Our country is in crisis, and many feel a deep sense of despair.
But today, looking out at all of you I am filled with hope.
Today is a defining moment in the history of our country.
The moment when South Africans stood together against a corrupt President and his government.
All around the country hundreds of thousands of people are gathering to make their voice heard.
In Pretoria, in Cape Town, in eThekwini, in Mangaung, in Mpumalanga, in the North West
Thousands of businesses are showing their support by shutting their doors for the day.
Workers and employers joining hands.
Political opponents united in a common goal.
Religious leaders from across the spectrum.
Rich, poor, black and white.
We have all had enough of Jacob Zuma and the corrupt ANC government he leads.
We have had enough of the Guptas and their stranglehold on our country and our economy.
We have had enough of our currency being manipulated.
We have had enough of job losses and deepening poverty.
So we are here today to show the world that enough is enough.
That our spirit will not be crushed.
That hope is alive in our country.
And we can rise again.
We are not a “junk” country. Jacob Zuma may have led us to this point, but we are embarking on a movement for change which seeks to create opportunities for all and build a prosperous, diverse nation.
This is a new struggle, a moment we can charter a better tomorrow.
Fellow South Africans, just when Jacob Zuma wants us divided, we are united.
The people of South Africa will never accept the destruction of our country. We will stand up and stop it, together.
Fellow South Africans, 23 years ago, we experienced another defining moment in our history.
In 1994, South Africans from all walks of life – religious, ideological, political, cultural – came together to build a new South Africa.
A united, democratic and non-racial future.
Make no mistake, when we came together, we had our differences. But in the spirit of ubuntu, in the best interests of our country and its future, we united around our shared goals.
It took maturity and it took vision. It took political leaders, business leaders, religious groupings, and civil society organisations who were prepared to rise above their differences.
And in that moment, we achieved something historic.
This consensus led to the adoption of our Constitution that protects everyone’s rights and limits power abuse.
This sacred document that remains our guiding light and moral compass in dark times.
My fellow South Africans, it took all of us.
23 years later, we face another defining moment.
What we choose to do will determine the future of our country for all our children.
Wherever I travel, people affirm that our nation has enormous potential. From the beautiful sands of the Karoo, the majestic wildlife, the efficient sectors of finance, business and labour, and ultimately the talent and ingenuity of our people.
They affirm the belief that our nation can be great, and that we as a people working together can achieve much
It is my great hope that today will give life to a new movement for change.
A movement to end this political monopoly that holds our country back.
A movement that transcends the barriers that divide us.
A movement that rekindles the spirit of 1994.
Fellow South Africans, history will judge us harshly if we miss this opportunity.
The time to act is now.
We cannot wait for the ANC to self-correct.
We need to forge a new path, and decide our own destiny.
We the people shall overcome.
Our country is calling on all of us to achieve this dream.
We will do it by uniting opposition parties around a set of shared values.
We will do it by joining hands with those in the ANC who still have a conscience.
We will do it with the help of business, churches, trade unions and civil society.
South Africa is not the property of one individual, one family or one party.
South Africa belongs to all of us, black and white.
This is our beautiful country. It is time that we took it back.
Let’s unite, let’s begin our work, and let’s usher in a new era of hope and prosperity for our beautiful country.
Our time is now!

#MarchForChange: Constitutional rights must be protected

Over the last few days, democratic rights have been undermined by the ANC and its affiliates who have threatened peaceful marches and gatherings with violence. These threats and actions must be rejected by all South Africans who believe in democracy and the rights enshrined in the Constitution. The rights to “assembly, demonstration, picket and petition”; “freedom of association” and; “political rights” are protected and are to be enjoyed by all South Africans.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) will peacefully march for change in Johannesburg tomorrow and call upon the leadership and members of the ANC to respect the expression of our democratic rights. We will not be intimidated by a handful of anti-democratic thugs.
I have today spoken with the Acting National Police Commissioner, General Khomotso Phahlane, to assure him that the DA will conduct itself in a peaceful and democratic manner. Furthermore, I stressed upon him the need to ensure that his Officers on the ground protect and uphold the rights of peaceful marchers, and arrest those who seek to undermine those rights.
Tomorrow, South Africans will come together to protest our country being ruled by a clique that is determined to steal from the people and side step accountability.
We call upon all South Africans, regardless of political affiliation or persuasion to join this mass action for change, where will stand together and speak with one voice that says “Zuma must go and South Africa must come first!” We must never be afraid to speak out against those who unite behind corruption and poor leadership.
The rolling mass action by South Africans across the country is a clear sign of the groundswell for change and a call for national leadership that puts the country and people first, not greed and a self-interest.

DA to lay charges over ANC threats of violence

On Friday, 07 April 2017, the Democratic Alliance (DA) will lead a march to Mary Fitzgerald Square in downtown Johannesburg, to protest against Jacob Zuma’s refusal to resign and the continued damage he is doing to South Africa. Our march will call on ANC members who hate what they see happening to their party, and to the country, to support the motion of no confidence in Jacob Zuma, to be debated in Parliament. If the ANC believes it is capable of repair, then this is the perfect opportunity to do so.
This is a time of unprecedented national crisis, and we call on all concerned South Africans, of whatever political persuasion, to join a protest on Friday, either in Johannesburg or in other cities and provinces across the country. We invite civil society, business, organised labour, religious groups and members of the public to join us as we march in peace. This is a time for the country to come together and transcend party politics in order to prevent further damage and to stop state capture.
The ANC, however, is not interested in the protest rights of concerned South Africans. They seem only interested in protecting Jacob Zuma. Last night the ANC held a pro-Zuma rally in Germiston at which various threats of violence were made against the DA. In particular, one speaker said that the ANC would be “waiting for Mmusi with sjamboks and all other weapons”. Threats of violence, incitement to violence and political intolerance are unacceptable in a multi-party constitutional democracy, and the DA will not accept this kind of language without challenge. Today the Democratic Alliance will lay criminal charges against the ANC and the individual speakers who issued these threats, and we expect the SAPS to review the footage and refer the charges for prosecution without delay. 
We are not intimidated by this kind of war talk. South Africa is no longer intimidated by the ANC. There is a movement for change growing organically in the country, answering the call issued by Pravin Gordhan for mass mobilisation to remove Jacob Zuma.
We will march in Johannesburg and around the country peacefully, without any violence or looting. We will welcome all those who wish to join us, and we will not intimidate any South African who is unable to join us. We will do everything we can to ensure that the right to peaceful protest is upheld, and that our march is secure. We trust that the SAPS and other law enforcement agencies will support and protect this right too.
Our offices have been inundated with calls from the public wishing to join a protest. Below are the details of all of the protest events the DA will be hosting around South Africa. These details will also be available on our website, and members of the public and all concerned South Africans are invited to join:

  • Gauteng: Meet at Westgate Transport Hub, Anderson Street, Johannesburg – 10:00
  • KwaZulu Natal: Circus Site, Corner of Argyle and the M4, Durban – 09:00
  • Western Cape: Cape Town City Hall – 11:30
  • Free State: Hoffman Square, Mangaung, 11h30 or Welkom Municipal Offices – 10:00
  • North West: Matlosana Stadium –  10:00
  • Northern Cape: Perseverance College, Kimberley – 09:30
  • Mpumalanga: Nelspruit Primary School – 11:00

March for Change: Route amended due to ANC threats of violence

Following a meeting held this morning with members of the South African Police Service (SAPS), we have been informed that the SAPS will be unable to protect our marchers and ensure their safety from threats of violence from the ANC. Numerous threats of violence have been received from the ANC’s Youth League, as well as certain branches within the ANC.
Therefore in order to ensure a safe, inclusive and non-partisan march which caters for all South Africans, the DA has taken a decision to amend the route and gathering point of our March for Change this Friday 7 April 2017
The March for Change will now begin at the Westgate Transport Hub at 10h00 on Friday morning, and will end at Mary Fitzgerald Square, Johannesburg.
We once again call on all South Africans from all political persuasions to join us as we march through the streets of Johannesburg this Friday. I have this week extended invitations to members of civil society and the business community to join us.
The March for Change has one clear goal: to unite South Africans across race, culture, religion and political affiliation in calling for Jacob Zuma to be removed as President.

It is time for South Africa to March for Change!

The DA encourages South Africans to join our peaceful March for Change to Mary Fitzgerald Square, Johannesburg, on Friday, 7 April 2017.
We are also organising a number of events around the country on the same day, for those who are not able to join us in Johannesburg.
Details of these events will be made available soon.
The DA has been inundated with requests from fellow citizens who are deeply concerned about the crisis South Africa today finds itself in, and who wish to voice their anger with reckless Jacob Zuma on ‘National Shutdown’ Friday.
Each and every one of you are warmly welcome to join our peaceful marches. This is not about party politics. This is an opportunity for South Africans to unite to protect our precious, hard-won democracy, and send a loud and clear message to Jacob Zuma that his time to go is now.
In this time of crisis, it is incumbent on all South Africans who want our country to put be first again to stand together and let their voices be heard.
This will not be the last such opportunity to do so. Indeed, the DA is also looking into future marches following this Friday’s mass march to Beyers Naude Square, including to the Union Buildings.
This cannot just be a one-day event. We must continue to keep up the pressure so that Jacob Zuma is fired.
We have yet to clarify the date of this future march, and together with other parties, we will look to finalise this as soon as possible. We will communicate this information with you as soon as it becomes available.
Ke Nako! It is now time to march for our country, for our economy, for our democracy and for our shared future!

DA calls on all South Africans to join this Friday’s March for Change

Over the past 72 hours, the Democratic Alliance (DA) has been inundated with requests from a host of concerned citizens – from all backgrounds and walks of life – who want to take part in the growing movement calling for Jacob Zuma to be removed as President of South Africa.
As the DA, we are seeking to bring together all like-minded South Africans who want to see change, and who want to stop the corruption and state capture at the heart our government. This includes civil society, religious organisations, business groups, and political parties – including the honourable citizens inside the ANC that wish to help in restoring our Constitutional order.
This is not a party political matter. It is a matter of urgent national importance, which affects all of us as South Africans, and thus transcends party politics.
Therefore, in the interests of this ever-growing movement to remove Jacob Zuma, we have today taken a decision to lead a March for Change through the streets of Johannesburg this Friday, 7 April 2017. The march will finish at Beyers Naude Square in the Johannesburg CBD, where a rally will be held calling for Jacob Zuma to be removed. Further details, including times, will be communicated during the course of this week.
I would like to encourage every South African who cares for the future of our country, regardless of political affiliation, to join this March for Change. I would also like to invite all those citizens and civil society structures who are participating in Friday’s “national shutdown” to join this March for Change. Together, with one united voice, we are stronger and we will be heard.
Lastly, following public comments over the last few days by a number of senior ANC leader indicating broad dissatisfaction with Jacob Zuma, I will be extending an invitation to leaders in the ANC’s top 6, including Cyril Ramaphosa, Gwede Mantashe, and Zweli Mkhize, to join the thousands of South Africans who will be marching in a united call for Jacob Zuma to be removed as President of this country. We will create an opportunity for these senior ANC leaders to address the rally – which will be just one block away from Luthuli House – and to add their voice to the call to free our country from the reign of Jacob Zuma.
Our Constitution states that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity. Not to the connected few, but to all of us.
Therefore, in the spirit of our Constitution, let us all stand up against the Jacob Zuma and his lawless, corrupt ways, and sent a clear and united message: Zuma must go!