Coalition of corruption unlawfully takes over Tshwane

The Democratic Alliance (DA) will challenge the Tshwane Special Council decisions in court, as the processes to remove Speaker Katlego Mathebe and Mayor Stevens Mokgalapa were unlawful.

The DA is horrified by the scene that unfolded in Council, which resembled nothing short of a coup.

African National Congress (ANC) and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) councillors were joined in an illegal grab of power which descended the meeting into absolute chaos.

When the meeting started, Speaker Mathebe recused herself to make way for her elected deputy, Cllr Zweli Khumalo. This was necessary as the first item on the agenda was a Motion Of No Confidence (MONC) against herself.

The EFF physically blocked Cllr Khumalo from taking the Speakers seat which led to a series of adjournments.

In a concerted pre-arranged move, the ANC illegally brought in Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) Deputy Director General, Willy Bhila, to preside over the meeting.

When the DA objected to the presence of Bhila as it was illegal, the ANC and EFF Councillors continued by electing EFF Councillor Obakeng Ramabudo to preside over a motion that led to the removal of Speaker Mathebe.

Moments later, the ANC and EFF proceeded with a motion to remove Mayor Stevens Mokgalapa.

Observers must have thought they were no longer in South Africa but in a banana republic.

To quote F D Roosevelt, “today is a day that will live in infamy.”

What has occurred is an outrage and an attack on our hard fought for democracy.

The DA will not allow this coalition of corruption to reverse the three years of good work done by the DA-led administration in the City of Tshwane.

Rescuing and reforming SA’s economy is our primary focus

The following statement was delivered today by DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane, at a press briefing at Nkululeko House, Johannesburg. Maimane was joined by the Chairperson of the DA’s Federal Executive, James Selfe, and the Mayor of Johannesburg, Herman Mashaba.

Over the past two days, the Democratic Alliance’s Federal Executive (FedEx) convened for its first sitting of the 6th Parliament, to discuss and decide upon matters of importance to the party and the nation.

 SA’s Economic Crisis

On top of FedEx’s agenda this weekend was South Africa’s deep and persistent economic crisis and how we plan to rescue and reform the economy. The perilous state of the economy is the single biggest threat to our country’s future. It is with great concern that over the past months the conversation has moved from how to grow the economy, to how we avoid total collapse.

There exists a tangible mood of fear throughout the country, with the vast majority of South Africans lacking hope in the future. Discontentment with the current downward spiral is fast producing fertile soil for mass rebellion. The reality is that change will come, whether by the ballot or other means. We have no more time to kick the can down the road. We need immediate action.

Despite this, there lacks both the requisite urgency and a bold reform plan from Cyril Ramaphosa and his ANC government. For the past 18 months Ramaphosa has occupied the presidency it has been business as usual, with an added dose of economic gimmicks in the form of summits, talk shops, roadshows.

Unemployment is at a post 1994 record high, breaching the sobering 10-million mark for the first time. 10.2 million South Africans are without a job, with an expanded unemployment rate of 38%.There are now 746 000 more jobless South Africans than there were 18 months ago when Ramaphosa assumed office. This is a clear vote of no confidence in Ramaphosa’s much heralded yet ineffective “Jobs Summit” held earlier this year.

In terms of growth, the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has forecast growth for 2019 at a meagre 0.6% – the worst since 2016. Last year, South Africa experienced its first recession in over a decade – with two consecutive quarters of negative growth. We also saw the economy contracting by 3.2% during the first months of this year – the biggest decline in a decade. It appears we may just narrowly avoid another recession in 2019.

As things stand, we are the closest we have been to complete, all round junk status since 1994. In July this year, ratings agency Fitch changed their outlook for SA to junk status. Moody’s, the only agency that has SA above junk status, also expressed its concerns especially given the lack of change or plan to reform SOEs – specifically Eskom. Once we hit complete junk status, we are staring down the barrel of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout.

Investment is plummeting at an alarming rate. The President’s investment summit has yielded little positive impact as foreign investors have sold a record-high $4.8bn of South African equities and bonds in 2019 -the most on a year-to-date basis in over 20 years. Both at home and abroad, investors see South Africa as a risk not worth taking.

There is no sign of any “green shoots” in the economy, and instead of halting the decline, it appears Cyril Ramaphosa is exacerbating it. His open support for economically damaging policies such as Expropriation Without Compensation, the National Minimum Wage, the National Health Insurance, and the Eskom monopoly – among many others – is proof that when it comes to the test, Cyril Ramaphosa is loyal to the ANC above all else.

The DA’s Economic Recovery Plan

In order to avoid economic collapse and bring about rapid growth, a clear and concrete plan for urgent reform is required. The DA is currently in the process of expanding our “Economic Recovery Plan” – a comprehensive package of reform interventions that are unashamedly pro-growth, pro-investment, and pro-job creation.

The focus of this “Economic Recovery Plan” is on deliberate structural reform that will act as shock to our economy, in order to revive it and usher in rapid economic growth. The plan will include the following proposals, among others:

  1. Splitting Eskom into two separate entities while allowing IPPs to come on board by passing the Independent Electricity Management (IEMA) Bill;
  2. Passing our “Jobs Bill”, consisting of a wide range of incentives for foreign companies to invest in SA – bringing thousands of job opportunities to our shores.
  3. Implementing a government-wide Comprehensive Spending Review aimed at reviewing the efficiency of spending, the composition of spending, and future spending priorities in order to “tighten our belts”;
  4. Placing SAA under business rescue with a view to sell it off;
  5. Scrapping BEE and replacing it with a pro-growth plan that offers real broad-based inclusion in our economy;
  6. Beginning the rollout of a Voluntary Civil Service Year for young people;
  7. Introducing tax incentives for big job-creating sectors including manufacturing, tourism, mining and financial services;
  8. Rejecting investment-killing policies including the National Health Insurance (NHI), Expropriation Without Compensation (EWC), the National Minimum Wage (NMW) and the nationalisation of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB);
  9. Cutting the Public Sector Wage Bill; and
  10. Creating an enabling environment for job creation by freeing up micro enterprise and relaxing labour legislation.

In addition, provinces in which persistent drought continues to affect the agricultural sector must declare such as a provincial disaster. One such province in the Northern Cape, where over 60 000 jobs are on the line due to 5-year long drought.

This plan and the details thereof will be tabled early next month during Parliament’s urgent debate of national importance on the economy, which I requested in light of our current economic crisis.

In order to halt our economy’s spiralling decline and create opportunities for those left outside the economy, we need bold and urgent reform. This is the DA’s plan, and we intend to pursue it with intensity.

The President and the Public Protector

FedEx reaffirmed the party’s stance that Public Protector, Busisiwe Mkhwebane is unfit to hold office and Parliament must initiate an inquiry into her fitness without delay – as requested by the DA.

The DA was the only party that objected to Mkhwebane’s appointment almost two years ago, citing the very concerns which have now manifested themselves in the daily operation of her office.

The Office of the Public Protector is a crucial Chapter 9 Institution tasked with fostering accountable democracy. Under Mkhwebane’s tenure, it has been reduced to an arm of a certain faction within the ANC. Mkhwebane lacks both the impartiality and technical ability required to justify her continued occupation of the role of Public Protector, and there is little evidence to suggest otherwise. She must be removed at once.

Notwithstanding, it must be made absolutely clear that questions around Mkhwebane’s impartiality and ability have nothing to do with President Cyril Ramaphosa’s wrongdoings as it pertains to Bosasa.  Mkhwebane’s unfitness to hold office has no bearing on whether the relationship between Bosasa and the President is corrupt, nor whether he misled Parliament.

Ramaphosa’s misleading of Parliament, and his and his son’s dodgy dealings with Bosasa, are all established facts independent of the Public Protector and her supposed agenda. We will continue to monitor President Ramaphosa’s review application as it pertains to the Public Protector’s report into his Bosasa dealings.

We will not relent in our pursuit of accountability because the principle of equality before the law must be upheld, and the Office of the Public Protector must be respected regardless of whether the incumbent is fit to hold office.

This coming Thursday, 22 August, I engage Cyril Ramaphosa in Parliament on this matter during the scheduled Oral Question Session. Presidents and their families who abuse their power for personal benefit must be treated as equal before the law and held accountable for their actions. Cyril Ramaphosa is no exception.

National Health Insurance (NHI)

FedEx noted Health Minister Zweli Mkhize’s tabling of the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill in Parliament last week.

The South African healthcare system is an unequal one, with a minority of South Africans paying for quality, private healthcare, and the majority of South Africans with access to free, but overwhelmingly substandard healthcare.

The DA supports the move towards the provision of universal healthcare. This is non-negotiable in our unequal society. However, we disagree that the NHI is the way to achieve this. The NHI is a deliberate attempt to nationalise healthcare in South Africa, and it is based on this core aspect that we reject the bill.

Moreover, it is both naïve and irresponsible to have an academic debate about the merits of the NHI in the abstract. The debate must consider both this ANC government’s dire governance deficiencies and its tendency to loot public money at every juncture. As with the approach to both property rights and land, and the SARB, this is a push for more state control and thus more inefficiency and corruption.

We also have serious concerns as to the legality and constitutionality of the NHI bill, particularly around its impact on the constitutional mandate and power of provinces as it pertains to health services. We have urgently requested that on behalf of Parliament, Speaker Thandi Modise, instructs the Parliamentary Legal Services to obtain a legal opinion on the bill. On Thursday, the Committee folded to our demands and there will be extensive legal scrutiny of the bill. Our alternative plan, Sizani, is a hybrid model, seek to achieve the following:

  1. It will be funded through the current budget envelop which includes the tax benefit currently afforded to medical aid clients;
  2. It would strengthen the role of primary healthcare in many communities;
  3. It would invest heavily in the provision of maternal and child health services, and the training and provision of healthcare professionals;
  4. It would reinforce the powers of provinces by ensuring they are adequately funded and equipped to provide quality healthcare to all;
  5. Through these interventions, all South Africans would have access to a quality health system that provides them with a standard package of care across all facilities;
  6. Medical aid companies would be used as a top up measure for those South Africans who choose to use them and who can afford to do so;
  7. Ultimately this system would increase competition, drive up quality, and afford every South African the choice of which medical provider they wish to use.

The DA has a workable alternative that will ensure all South Africans are provided with quality healthcare, without crippling the economy.

Road to 2021

South Africa has entered the space where we go from election to election, with little time to rest in between. This is illustrated by the fact that following the 2019 National and Provincial Elections, we have contested 24 by-elections, with success in the vast majority, and the need for reflection in others. There is another tranche of by-elections between now and the end of the year, most notably, all 15 wards in Maluti-a-Phofung municipality in the Free State. Between the 2016 Local Government Elections and the 2019 National and Provincial Elections, the DA showed growth in every ward in Maluti-a-Phofung, which bodes well for the upcoming by-elections on 28 August 2019.

Our public representatives are currently engaged in a focused ground campaign where they are winning back the confidence of voters we lost in 2019, while constantly engaging those who voted for us. We are strengthening our branches and we are recruiting new members every day. The work has begun on the ground as we build momentum towards the 2021 Local Government Elections.

In the build up to 2021, we are concerned by the capacity and impartiality of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC). To date we have not received an update or correspondence regarding two key investigations into ANC conduct. One of the complaints dates back to the 2016 election, where the ANC ran a black-ops social media campaign. The other case relates to the Bosasa-sponsored ANC election “war room.” These matters cannot be allowed to gather dust, especially when they impact on South Africa’s democratic processes and we implore the IEC to act in this regard.

Moreover, the voters’ roll is of great concern. It is vital that the voters’ roll has the most accurate and up to date geographical information of voters in order to ensure the credibility of the election.

At the end of the last Federal Council, it was announced that James Selfe will step down as the head of both the Federal Executive and Federal Council in order to head up our Governance Unit. This unit will act as the Party’s direct line with our governments at an executive level. James has hit the ground running, and we will work to fully capacitate the office, to ensure that we have real-time information from DA-led governments so that we truly deliver on our commitment to job creation, clean governance, and the acceleration of basic service delivery.

Mayor Herman Mashaba

The Democratic Alliance is fully behind Mayor Herman Mashaba in the frivolous Motion of No Confidence (MONC) tabled by the ANC in the Johannesburg City Council. Throughout his term, Mayor Mashaba has prioritised service delivery to forgotten communities, rooted out corruption, created jobs and attracted investment, and channelled millions of freed up funds into building a city that works for all.

The Motion of No Confidence  tabled against Mayor Mashaba must be seen for what it is – an attempt by the ANC criminal syndicate to get their hands on the people’s money and reverse the gains made by Mashaba’s multi-party government.

Mayor Mashaba is a strong and capable leader who has the best interests of Johannesburg at heart. We call upon all Johannesburg residents to rally around Herman Mashaba on 22 August. The message to the ANC crooks is clear: ‘Hands off Mashaba!’. We do not say this for the sake of staying in government, we say so because we have made significant changes to better the lives of residents across the country’s economic capital.

In the time that the DA and Mayor Mashaba have led the multi-party government, the following key interventions have been made:

  • 44 000 Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) job opportunities have been created;
  • Extended operating hours have been introduced at 22 clinics;
  • 1,500 Metro Police Officers have been recruited to ensure the safety of residents and to maintain order. Furthermore, regular updates are given on the state of crime and the interventions made in the City;
  • Over 5,000 cases of corruption worth more than R34 billion in transactions have been uncovered;
  • Just this week it was announced by the Household Satisfaction Survey that customer satisfaction with the city’s services has risen by 12 points to 73 in 2019 from 61;
  • For 2018/19 the City of Johannesburg attracted over R17-billion in investment.

We have full confidence that we will have the support of our coalition partners to successfully defeat this motion so that Mayor Mashaba can return his focus to delivering services to the people of Johannesburg.

DA Governments

Premier Winde’s Western Cape provincial government has been hard at work during its first 100 days in office. With its focus on job creation and economic growth, we welcome the establishment of an “Economic War Room”. The Western Cape continues to lead in job creation, with the province boasting an unemployment rate that is 14% below the national rate. Other achievements include:

  • Advertising the tender for the conducting of lifestyle audits on the entire Western Cape cabinet;
  • Introducing the Open Government First Thursday – an ability for citizens to engage directly with politicians and officials;
  • Starting the process of revising the Ministerial Handbook for a second time. The first review conducted ten years ago has already saved the province in excess of R100 million;
  • Conducting a “speed dating” event with mayors and municipals managers across the province, hosted the Premier’s Coordinating Forum (PCF). The purpose is for these individuals to learn from each other and share best practice;
  • Engaging with key stakeholders in the agricultural sector, business organisations and religious leaders.

FedEx considered the current situation in Tshwane and resolved to intensify our daily engagement with the political leadership. We have been given assurance that Mayor Mokgalapa will apply consequence management to employees of the city who caused damage during the recent unprotected strike.

Lastly, we continue our call for Mongameli Bobani to be removed as mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay as he is wholly unfit to hold the position. The DA has submitted a Motion of No Confidence in Bobani, which will be debated and voted upon in the coming weeks.

ANC, UDM and EFF vote together to bring corruption back to Nelson Mandela Bay

In today’s council sitting, the ANC, UDM and EFF banded together and supported a Motion of No Confidence to remove the DA-led coalition administration in Nelson Mandela Bay, removing both Mayor Athol Trollip and Speaker Jonathan Lawack. This decision by the unholy alliance of the ANC, EFF and UDM is in order to fill their own party coffers with public funds and bring looting back ahead of the 2019 elections. The ANC and the EFF have rejected the will of the people in favour of enriching themselves.

The ANC lost Nelson Mandela Bay in 2016 as the people of the Bay finally fired them after two decades of brazen corruption. Since then, the DA-led government has turned the tide on corruption and ensured the people’s money is spent on benefitting the people of Nelson Mandela Bay

However, the ANC, UDM and EFF have today united around a shared interest – eating public funds designed to create work and deliver services to the people. This matter is quite simple. It is a battle between those who want to plunder state resources for themselves and their friends and those who are working tirelessly to empower the citizens of our nation.

The DA-led government has already made a huge difference in Nelson Mandela Bay. In just 24 months in office, the DA-led government achieved the following successes:

• The City is now financially liquid with over R2 billion in the bank and recently received a AAA credit rating;
• Achieved annual financial statements that indicate the administration has achieved record levels of spending in the financial year 2017/18;
• Installed the first ever metro police force, with 135 fully trained officers who have attended to over 25 000 crime fighting interactions;
• Boasts one of the best Urban Settlements Development Grant (USDG) spending performances in the country at 97% this year;
• Has successfully exposed and stopped corruption on contracts to the tune of R615 million, eradicated 9046 bucket toilets, resurfaced 55 820 square metres of road and managed to triple the number of annual jobs created by the EPWP (Expanded Public Works Program);
• Significantly improved turnaround times on administrative functions such as building plan approval and rates clearance transactions;
• The Thusong Centre in Motherwell was completed and opened within a year after R12 million was spent, a total of 5439 EPWP jobs were created and 646 streetlights installed in a number of areas;
• The Shot-spotter technology installed in Helenvale also proved to be a great success and within 90 days of its installation, gunshots were reduced by 90%; and
• IPTS busses are on the road, and the highly secured Clearly Park Bus Depot has been completed.

Every day the DA is in government is a threat to the corrupt and divisive politics of the ANC¸UDM and EFF. They know that residents are experiencing a real alternative under DA-led governments, corruption is being eradicated, services are delivered, and opportunity is being created for all.

We call on all South Africans to punish the ANC, UDM and EFF at the ballot box in 2019. They have stolen the will of the people of Nelson Mandela Bay and brought back corruption to a city that rejected the ANC just two years ago.

DA gives de Lille an opportunity to withdraw her misguided application

The DA has written to Patricia de Lille to invite her to withdraw the application regarding the upcoming Motion of No Confidence (MONC), tabled by the City of Cape Town Caucus against her.
Her application displays a lack of appreciation for the law and the relevant facts, as placed on record by the DA.
The application insists that the members of the DA Caucus be allowed to vote on the MONC in accordance with their conscience. The DA has already made it clear that this will be the case and that every Councillor is free to vote with his or her own conscience.
On the matter of a secret ballot, while the DA does not believe it is necessary given that members have the freedom to vote with their consciences, the decision on this matter must be made by the Council itself. Until such time that this decision is made and voted on, any challenge is premature.
Mayor de Lille’s final prayer in her application, that the DA federal and provincial executive be interdicted from ‘influencing’ Caucus members, has no legal basis and disingenuous, to say the least. Not only has she has failed to cite specific officer bearers she wishes to interdict, making her prayer unsustainable, she has failed to acknowledge that the DA has been clear that no threats or disciplinary action will be taken against Caucus members regarding their vote.
Should Mayor de Lille persist with her application, the DA will seek a punitive costs award for abusing the court’s process with pointless and unfounded litigation.
It is in the best interest of the people of Cape Town that this matter is resolved in an open and democratic manner and for this reason, we hope that Mayor de Lille reconsiders her current course of action.

Hands off Mayor Mashaba! He is turning Joburg around – Mmusi Maimane

My fellow South Africans,
Today the ANC want to vote to remove Herman Mashaba as Mayor of this great city.
But their reasons for wanting to remove him have nothing to do with any failure on his part to do his job.
In truth, it is the way in which he has started scrubbing this city administration clean that has got them so upset.
The ANC knew he would be a good Mayor, but they had no idea just how good he would be.
His all-out war on the ANC’s legacy of corruption and looting that brought Johannesburg to the brink of bankruptcy has really shaken them badly. They are upset and embarrassed, and for that they want him gone.
Herman Mashaba’s campaign to weed out dirty officials in this city is a disaster for the thousands of cadres who relied on the massive web of patronage and corruption.
He has shone the light on the entire crime syndicate that had been masquerading as a metro government here, and they are desperate to make him go away.
We will not let them win.
Herman Mashaba is our Mayor. He loves this city and he has sworn to make it a better place for everyone who lives here, works here or visits here.
The crooked cadres can never, and will never, beat the unity of the people of Joburg.
This city of Johannesburg means everything to us, as a nation. If we want to see progress in South Africa, then we have to ensure that Johannesburg doesn’t merely survive, but that it thrives as a city.
Joburg is the heart of our economy – it’s what drives our country forward. It is also home to millions of South Africans. Most of these people are poor and many struggle to find work.
How Johannesburg is run has a profound effect on the lives of millions of vulnerable people. We simply cannot afford for the government of this metro to be anything less than the very best.
And for the past two decades, Johannesburg has been neglected, mismanaged and bled dry by the very people elected to serve the city.
This metro has been brought to its knees by a toxic combination of theft, fraud, and crony politics.
Nothing has been maintained, very little new projects have been built and billions of Rands have ended up in the pockets of crooked politicians, crooked staff and the crooked businesses that collude with them.
And I’m not talking about only the top brass either.
This rot has infected everything under the ANC’s control in this city – from those overseeing deployment and procurement at the top right down to officials issuing licences and managing housing lists. For years now the Joburg metro government has just been a place for connected cadres to eat.
But that all changed in last year’s elections.
When the people voted the ANC out and we were able to put together a coalition government led by Herman Mashaba, this city finally got a government committed to the people.
And, importantly, it got a Mayor who was not afraid to roll up his sleeves and do the hard work himself. Literally.
I remember many people saying at the time: What does a businessman possibly know about running a metro government? But these were people who didn’t know Herman Mashaba.
Those who know him said: Wait and see – he’ll prove all his doubters wrong. And he did, right from day one. No previous Mayor here has accomplished in a full term what Herman Mashaba has done in his first year in office.
His achievements are way too many to list in full here, but I want to mention a few highlights. Because it has to be stated in clear, uncertain terms just how dishonest and self-serving the ANC’s motion is.
From day one, Herman Mashaba made it clear that he would not rest until every last crooked crony was gone. And he has been throwing them out in big numbers.
To date, he has uncovered fraud and corruption worth over R16 billion. More than 2,500 cases have been investigated, more than 600 people have been arrested and more than 100 city employees have been suspended or dismissed. Thirteen more have resigned.
Just think about that for a minute. In Zuma’s government, not a single person has been arrested or investigated for state capture. But on Herman’s watch, 600 people have already been arrested in one year.
Herman also opened up the city’s tender system to make it fair and transparent, and he appointed the former Gauteng Hawks Head, General Shadrack Sibaya, as head of Johannesburg’s new Group Forensic and Investigation Services Department.
All of this wreaked havoc in the ANC’s long-standing network of corrupt procurement and tender processes. Naturally they want it to go back to the way it was as soon as possible.
It is never going back!
They want their pipeline of easy money to start flowing again. Well, they can forget about it. The days of stealing from the people of Johannesburg are over.
Herman Mashaba didn’t only focus his attention on corruption. Just look at what he’s done for basic delivery!
Mayor Mashaba’s government inherited a city with a 10-year, R170 billion infrastructure backlog. The task of working through this backlog through infrastructure investment, maintenance and repair is huge. But instead of giving up, Mayor Mashaba started tackling it head-on. And one year later his list of successes is truly impressive.
A massive R12.8 billion has been budgeted over the next financial year to upgrade infrastructure, build new infrastructure and repair existing infrastructure.
R105 million has been set aside to install and repair traffic signals across the city, and a R79 million has been allocated to repair potholes.
He has also budgeted R1.2 billion over the next three years to upgrade gravel roads in some of Johannesburg’s most neglected communities.
The city’s fleet of 400 Metro buses is being expanded to 600 buses, and the city’s small business hubs are going to double from seven to fourteen.
Under Herman Mashaba’s watch this Joburg government has now more than doubled the budget to improve sanitation in informal settlements, as well as massively increasing the money allocated to providing electricity and water connections in these communities.
Mayor Mashaba has also set targets to upgrade 51 informal settlements over the medium term – ten in this financial year, twenty more in the next financial year and another 21 in the year after that.
To put this in perspective, the previous ANC government set themselves a target of upgrading only two informal settlements in their last year in office.
Mayor Mashaba is working harder for the poor.
Mayor Mashaba is cleaning up corruption.
Mayor Mashaba is fixing the bankrupt budget.
Mayor Mashaba is delivering more basic services for all.
He is cleaning up the inner city, building a volunteer spirit across the city, and bringing Jo’burgers together.
I could go on all day long about the difference Herman Mashaba has already made here in Johannesburg – about the clinic hours he extended, about the library hours he extended, about the K9 Narcotics Unit he launched, about the extra 1500 men and women he recruited into the Johannesburg Metro Police – but you get the idea.
He and his government are already turning this city around. And in doing so, they have kicked over the ANC’s feeding trough.
So when we say “Hands off Mashaba”, we mean it.
This city will never go back to the looting and the neglect of the previous government. The people of Johannesburg have spoken, and they have sent the ANC packing.
This Motion of No Confidence will fail, and Mayor Mashaba will continue to do what he promised the people he’d do.
And if that means more crooked cadres get shaken from the tree and swept out the gate, then so be it. Johannesburg does not want them here.
Viva, Herman Mashaba, viva!

DA launches petition calling for early emergency elections

The Democratic Alliance calls on all South Africans to sign our petition calling for early emergency elections.
We believe the ANC has lost the confidence of the majority of South Africans, and that Parliament requires a new beginning through the ballot box.
In the Motion of No Confidence in President Zuma on 8 August it was clear that the ANC is willing to do anything to protect this corrupt president. A man that has 783 corruption charges against him.
The ANC has proved time and again that is totally incapable of self-correcting and that they will do anything to protect President Zuma and keep him in power. As the ANC fights itself, Parliament is becoming dysfunctional.
The DA cannot allow this to happen. While 9.3 million South Africans are jobless and 30.4 million (55.5%) South Africans live below the poverty line, unauthorised, irregular, and fruitless and wasteful expenditure under President Zuma’s ANC amounts to R252 billion. It may be too late to wait until 2019 to save our country. We have to act now.
South Africans must be allowed to have their say and by supporting the DA’s motion you can help to ensure that South Africa does not have to withstand the devastating effects of Jacob Zuma’s presidency for another two years .

#ZumaMustFall: Opposition United Behind Putting SA First

Note to Editors: The following joint statement was delivered at a press conference, following a meeting of Opposition Parties in Johannesburg. The meeting was attended by the DA (Mmusi Maimane), EFF (Godrich Gardee and Dali Mpofu), UDM (Bantu Holomisa), COPE (Mosiuoa Lekota), IFP (Mangaqa Mncwango) and ACDP (Kenneth Meshoe).
Today, Monday, 03 April 2017, the Leadership of the DA, EFF, IFP, COPE, UDM, and ACDP met in Johannesburg following the hostile takeover of the Treasury, and selling of the country by Jacob Zuma to a grouping whose only interests are amassing wealth and weakening the State through the theft of the people’s money and the undermining of the country’s Constitution.
These are indeed irregular and trying times for South Africa and the people, which demands a united vision and programme of action from leaders of society, like Opposition Parties represented in the National Assembly. Opposition Parties agreed that the Constitution must come first, and the country must be protected from those who seek to undermine it.  We therefore deliberated and agreed upon a number of issues in this regard.
Opposition Programme of Action
This Programme of Action stems from already existing partnerships and other ad hoc co-operation arrangements which exist in the country’s metros and other municipalities, where the Opposition governs for all residents, regardless of their political affiliation. The opposition-led metros serve as important platforms to show what the Opposition can do for the people of South Africa, which present a tangible example of the work that we can do, when we united against corruption, state capture and other ills in society.
Furthermore, we agreed that there is a need for a Summit that brings together Political Parties and Civil Society to discuss the state of South Africa. Going forward, we will at times act collectively and at times as separate political parties, depending on the nature of the issue facing the coutry. Our Programme of Action will be to put the people first, with the vision to build a better South Africa.
National Day of Action to the Union Buildings
It was agreed that as Opposition Parties, we will start the process of mobilising their structures from across the country for a National Day of Action to the Union Buildings. We are planning to have this mass action event as soon as possible.
We will also be engaging Civil Society formations and other Political Parties to mobilise in order to support the people’s National Day of Action to the Union Buildings, so that we are united and not fractured in our call to save our country in the short-term.
We therefore call upon all South Africans and the whole of Civil Society to support this mass action, where will speak with one voice calling for Jacob Zuma to remove himself from the Union Buildings, failing which he will be pushed, using democratic processes. Zuma cannot hold an entire country hostage.
 Motion of No Confidence
 Opposition Parties are fully behind the Motion of No Confidence in Jacob Zuma and the call for the Speaker of the National Assembly to reconvene the House for a special sitting so that this matter of National Importance can be debated and voted on. The DA and EFF have already asked the Speaker to reconvene Parliament. The UDM have submitted a similar request today.
We expect an urgent answer from the Speaker about progress made in scheduling the Motion, should we not be satisfied with her response, court action, supported by Opposition Parties will be taken.
Given the crisis engulfing our society, we are confident that Members of Parliament will stay true the Constitution and their Oath of Office.
The Motion of No Confidence is not about the removal the ANC. The ANC was voted into government by the majority, through the democratic project, which we respect. In the short-term, we are working to remove Jacob Zuma, and elect someone from the ranks of the National Assembly who is committed to South Africa, the people and the Constitution.
Court Cases
 The Opposition support the two court cases which are currently before the Judiciary.
The DA will be submitting papers for a Review Application which seeks to test the legal rationality of Jacob Zuma’s disastrous Cabinet Reshuffle.
The EFF, UDM and COPE are currently before the Constitutional Court to probe the process and duty of Parliament to facilitate the impeachment of the President.
Opposition Party Leaders are united in their call for Zuma to go and our belief in the supremacy of the Constitution. The choice South Africans must make is: Zuma or South Africa. The two cannot co-exist.

Parliament must not be found wanting

The Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, has today committed to a “process of consultation” with relevant parties in respect of the DA’s Motion of No Confidence in President Jacob Zuma – tabled on 30 March in terms of Section 102 of the Constitution.
Following Zuma’s midnight Cabinet cull, the DA also called for Parliament to reconvene immediately for this motion to be debated.
Whilst we appreciate Mbete’s duty to consult, we cannot allow her office to dawdle. It is disappointing that she is set to visit Luthuli House tomorrow and Parliament only on Tuesday. Her priorities are clear for all to see.
Historically, Mbete’s loyalty to Zuma has been unwavering and she has rarely hesitated to undermine the institution of Parliament to shield him.
South Africa is now experiencing a groundswell of opposition to Zuma and his undisguised project of state capture. Parliament cannot be side-lined by a biased Speaker who puts party before country.
Mbete must fast-track her consultation and schedule a sitting of the National Assembly immediately.

If Zuma does not jump, he’ll be pushed

The groundswell of unity among South Africans, from the clergy to NGOs; from the Opposition to senior members within the ANC, following Jacob Zuma’s hostile takeover of the Treasury and selling of the country to a cabal of looters and liars, leave Zuma with two options; jump or be pushed.
Zuma’s self-interested decision to fire capable and trusted Treasury leadership and replace them with servants of corruption has sparked the country into action. Already, our petition on has received close to 300 000 signatures, and counting, all calling for Zuma to be removed; a wave of protests swept across the country’s major capitals of Cape Town and Tshwane; both the Nelson Mandela and Ahmed Kathrada Foundations have spoken out strongly against the “the forces of evil, and the rogues, and the thieves who want to steal our country from us.”
Ultimately, it is the National Assembly that has the duty and Constitutional authority to remove the President when he does not act in the interests of the country, the people and the economy. The National Assembly hired Zuma, it’s now time that it fired him.
The Democratic Alliance therefore reiterates its call for the Speaker of the National Assembly to reconvene the National Assembly for a special sitting to debate and vote on a Motion of No Confidence in Zuma. This is not a DA Motion of No Confidence, it is the people’s Motion of No Confidence.
It is in the interests of the country and its future that all political parties support the removal of Zuma because in the words of former Minister Barbara Hogan and partner to the late Uncle Kathy, “Party loyalty is important, but when we are in as grave a situation as we are in today, the Constitution that we love and fought for, must take precedence over any lingering notion that party loyalty is above anything.”
Furthermore, we call upon South Africans to put pressure on their Members of Parliament especially those in the ANC to support this move to take back the country from Zuma and the self-serving and criminal elements he has chosen to surround himself with. We therefore invite all South Africans to join us on Friday, 07 April 2017, as we take this message to the ANC’s doorstep, in order to remind, Cyril Ramaphosa, Jackson Mthembu, Derek Hanekoem and others of their primary duty to the people of South Africa and the Constitution.
One man cannot hold 56-million South Africans hostage.

DA to table Motion of No Confidence in Jacob Zuma following his reckless assault on our economy

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has today taken a decision to table a Motion of No Confidence in President Jacob Zuma – in terms of Section 102 of the Constitution – following his now confirmed intention to fire Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, and his Deputy, Mcebisi Jonas. I have therefore written to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Ms Baleka Mbete, in this regard, indicating our intention to have the motion debated and voted on by Parliament once it is back in session.
At a time when 9 million South Africans are without work and our fragile economy requires leadership and clear policy direction, President Zuma continues to play “Russian Roulette” with our economy and the future of our country.
Since his reckless and irrational decision to recall Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, and his Deputy, Mcebisi Jonas, from an international roadshow to boost investment, growth and job creation in South Africa, the gains made by Gordhan and Jonas to restore credibility in our economy following the disastrous firing of former Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene, 15 months ago, have all but been eviscerated.
This is negatively affecting all South Africans – but in particular the poor and the jobless whose only hope is a growing and inclusive economy.
Zuma has threatened our economy by dangling the possibility of firing Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, and his Deputy, Mcebisi Jonas, before the country, and before the world, by using a bizarre and seemingly last minute “security report” to justify such removals. This is nothing more than an attempt at total state capture and cannot be accepted.
The President’s actions confirm what we already know: Zuma has abandoned the interests of the people, the economy and South Africa in favour of a kleptocratic Guptamocracy, where the keys to the Treasury and the Government are made available to anyone who puts Zuma first and the people last. The Treasury stands as the last line of defence against Zuma and his project of state capture and unfettered looting.
Such a crisis was seen previously during the Nenegate crisis of December 2015. That President Zuma has indicated his intention to go down the same destructive path shows that he has lost all sense of rationality and sound judgement. These actions will result directly in job losses and will thus be most profoundly felt by the poor and most vulnerable citizens in South Africa. President Zuma’s derelict leadership has resulted in a collapse of public confidence in the President of the Republic of South Africa, has created a government at war with itself and ultimately has undermined efforts to restore confidence in the South African economy. There can be no confidence in such a President.
Parliament hired Jacob Zuma, and Parliament must now fire Jacob Zuma. Only Parliament can act now – the Courts do not have the authority to remove a sitting president.
Therefore it is vital that a Motion of No Confidence be tabled against the calamitous, corrupt and job-killing Zuma presidency. For the sake of the country and the people, it is important that Members of Parliament, regardless of political affiliation, come together and put South Africa and our people first by removing Zuma from the Union Buildings.
We therefore call on all political parties to support our motion – including the South African Communist Party’s (SACP) deployees to Parliament. This is in light of their public pronouncements earlier today, in which it was confirmed that the removal of Gordhan and Jonas was discussed with its leadership, and that the party publically denounces Zuma’s assault on the National Treasury and the economy.
The SACP, along with the growing and increasingly public opposition to the Zuma leadership within the ANC, are now afforded the opportunity to put action to their words and support our motion.
This a call to remove Zuma before he destroys our economy and our shared future.