President Jacob Zuma is guilty of the pre-meditated murder of the economy in South Africa

Note to Editors: The following speech was delivered in Parliament today by DA Shadow Minister of Finance, David Maynier MP, during the Budget Vote on National Treasury.
Madam Speaker,
The Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba, was at a fashion show, rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous, when the call came informing him that he had got the top job and would be the next Finance Minister.
It was not long before the new Minister and his sidekick, Mayihlome Tshwete, swooped down, rather like Batman and Robin, on National Treasury.
The Minister, to his credit, passed the first big test of any South African Finance Minister – he lasted the weekend.
This was the culmination of a shameful midnight Cabinet reshuffle. President Jacob Zuma had:

  • Recalled the former Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan, from an international investor roadshow on the basis of a bizarre “intelligence report” claiming he was part of a plot to mobilise people to overthrow the state; and
  • Then promptly fired him to, can you believe it, “improve efficiency and effectiveness”.

The truth is that, had the President been serious about improving efficiency and effectiveness, he would have fired Bathabile Dlamini and Faith Mthambi who, together, could barely run a bath.
The Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa, condemned the Cabinet reshuffle, saying it was “unacceptable”.
Even, ANC Secretary General, Gwede Mantashe, condemned the Cabinet reshuffle, saying he was “very uncomfortable”.
But, the Minister defended the Cabinet reshuffle by condemning those who had condemned the Cabinet reshuffle.
He dismissed them as “a mixed bag of so-called ANC stalwarts and disillusioned ex-ANC leaders who were ill-disciplined”.
The fact is President Jacob Zuma’s midnight Cabinet reshuffle had nothing to do with improving efficiency and effectiveness and everything to do with the capture of National Treasury for his most important clients, the Guptas.
And the President had the perfect man for the job in his new Finance Minister, Malusi Gigaba, because in his own words, “I don’t ask questions, I simply comply with instructions.”
Things have been in absolute shambles since the Minister took over, as he somersaulted between “radical economic transformation” and “inclusive economic growth”, and between attacking orthodox and right-wing economists at National Treasury and supporting the skilled and experienced team at National Treasury.
However, things went from bad to worse when the Minister appointed Professor Chris Malikane, who seems to have been trained at the “Hugo Chavez School of Economics”, and who has some mad ideas on the economy, including nationalising the banks, mines and insurance companies, as his economic advisor at National Treasury.
Of course, when you have a Minister, who in his own words simply complies with instructions, who advises him is an important issue.
Things began to spin out of control as the Minister told his economic advisor to “keep quiet”, but the economic advisor told the Minister he would not “shut up”.
The Minister was forced into damage control mode, sending his economic advisor to the equivalent of the “re-education camp” to be “rehabilitated”.
Now, I have said before that the Minister was “Des van Rooyen in a designer suit”.
But, I was wrong.
Because, at least Des van Rooyen has a Master’s degree in finance, even if half his assignments were done by the Parliamentary Budget Office.
Whatever the case, the Minister has lost control and the message is now one part Bloomberg, one part ANN7, and one part The Real Housewives of New York.
The National Treasury’s legislative mandate, and the R30.79 billion budget for the 2017/18 financial year, are directed at ensuring transparency, accountability and sound fiscal controls in the management of our public finances.
But the question is: how long can this last?
Because, like all politicians accumulating power, the Minister has concealed his real political agenda, which he revealed, in an unguarded moment, during his maiden press conference, and which included:

  • A strong commitment to implementing “radical economic transformation”; and
  • An attack on National Treasury, which he believes is dominated by big business, international investors and orthodox economists.

The fact is, and let us not be naïve about this, the Minister has been appointed to “defang” National Treasury.
And he will do it with charm and cunning, and he will do it patiently and slowly:

  • By exerting political control and reducing the institutional independence of National Treasury;
  • By diluting the legislative mandate to reduce the institutional strength of National Treasury;
  • By controlling the procurement process;
  • By controlling the Public Investment Corporation; and
  • Most importantly, by approving the nuclear build programme.

If you look carefully, the work is already underway “below the line” with

  • The Minister in the Presidency, Jeff Radebe, “power-grabbing” the budget prioritisation process from National Treasury; and
  • The Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Michael Masuta, “power-grabbing” control of the Financial Intelligence Centre from National Treasury.

The truth is that National Treasury is in danger of being “defanged” and reduced to a bunch of bookkeepers under the new Minister and his boss, President Jacob Zuma.
We cannot afford to surrender to the mafia state and so we are going to have to fight to maintain the institutional independence and institutional strength of National Treasury.
What this means is that the Finance Committee is going to require a reset from legislative mode to oversight mode and carefully scrutinise procurement, public investments, contingent liabilities and fiscal risks, including most importantly the nuclear build programme.
The fact is that, in the end, President Jacob Zuma must have known that the midnight Cabinet reshuffle would push the economy off the cliff.
We are now in deep trouble with the midnight Cabinet reshuffle and radical economic transformation delivering:

  • stagnant economic growth;
  • declining per capita incomes;
  • a collapse in investment;
  • a spike in disinvestment;
  • massive unemployment;
  • staggering national debt;
  • “zombie” state-owned enterprises;
  • junk status; and
  • ultimately, a loss of hope for the millions of South Africans who do not have jobs, or who have given up looking for jobs, and who live without dignity, without independence, and without freedom, in South Africa.

That is why it is not an exaggeration to say that President Jacob Zuma’s midnight Cabinet reshuffle, and his policy of radical economic transformation, amounts to the pre-meditated murder of the economy in South Africa.
So, if you do not have a job, or you have given up looking for a job, you need to know this: You do not have a job because the ANC-government has systematically mismanaged the economy; and

  • You do not have a job because the ANC-government has systematically mismanaged the economy; and
  • You will never get a job as long as the ANC-government is in power in South Africa.

That is why you will have a choice, in the 2019 National Election, between a strong know-how economy, which creates jobs for all, led by the DA, or a weak know-who economy, which creates jobs for the few.
We say: bring it on.

The only people who can bring change to Matjhabeng are you, the voters

The following remarks were  delivered by the DA Leader during a public meeting in Matjhabeng, Free State. The Leader is on a two-day visit to the the Free State as part of the National #Change19 Tour. The Leader is joined by DA Free State Provincial Leader, 
My fellow South Africans
It’s great to wake up in the Free State and to drive through this wonderful province. It sits in the heart of our country in more ways than one – not only geographically, but also as the bread basket of our nation.
If we are to prosper as a nation and unlock our full potential, then it is crucial that the Free State succeeds. And the power to make this happen lies in your hands.
I come to your community as part of what I call my Change19 Tour. In the course of the year I plan to take the DA’s vision for a better South Africa to communities across the country.
I think we can all agree we need to change. Our country is heading the wrong way and soon it may be too late to turn around. We have stopped making progress as a nation. We are no longer marching towards economic freedom for all.
Communities like yours here in Matjhabeng are fast being forgotten by a government that promised to take you forward, but has no intention of honouring that promise.
And here in the Free State you suffer under the double threat of a national ANC government under Jacob Zuma and a provincial ANC government under Ace Magashule.
Because these two men are the same. The promises they make to their rich friends, the Guptas, mean far more than the promises they make to you before elections.
There has been a lot of talk recently about whether the ANC will kick Jacob Zuma out and replace him with someone else. I assure you, this will make no difference at all to the ANC. The culture of corruption – of stealing money that was meant for communities like yours – is part of the ANC now. It cannot be corrected.
Replacing Zuma with someone else will just increase your suffering. Similarly, replacing Ace Magashule with another ANC leader here in the Free State won’t change the way it governs for you. It will only change the name of the person handing out the contracts and tenders to friends and family.
When I talk about change on this tour, I mean total change. I mean a whole new way of looking at South Africa.
I’m talking about a South Africa that has entered its second struggle era – this time the struggle for economic freedom for all. The struggle to escape the economic oppression of ANC rule.
I’m talking about a South Africa in which all of us have a say in how this country of ours must be rebuilt – what it should look like and how we can all benefit from it.
I’m talking about a South Africa built on tolerance and respect for each other.
I’m talking about a South Africa where violence against women is not tolerated. Where we stand up, as one, against anyone who thinks they have the right to treat women as their possession.
I’m talking about a South Africa that is no longer the rape and murder capital of the world; where children don’t disappear every day, and where our streets and our neighbourhoods belong to the people who live there once more.
A South Africa where the leaders set the examples for others to follow. Where law and order starts at the top.
I’m talking about a South Africa that works. That creates jobs in every town and every city, and that invests in educating and training our youth to fill these jobs.
I’m talking about a South Africa free from the ANC. We have to start thinking and talking about our future without the ANC. Because only then can we start to move forward.
My fellow South Africans
If we want to build this South Africa – if we want to turn communities like Matjhabeng into places of hope, where the youth can find jobs instead of turning to crime and drugs – then we are going to have to do it together.
It’s no use to see ourselves as only DA, only ANC or only EFF, and everyone else as our enemies. We need to start thinking beyond these divides. We need to start seeing those who want to build the same South Africa as we do as our allies.
A new government that rescues our country from the ANC will have to be built on coalitions and cooperation. This is how we are busy turning metros like Johannesburg, Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay around, and this is how we will turn South Africa around.
We need to think differently and we need to vote differently. And the only people who can make this happen are you, the voters. You have the power to shape your future.
Please think carefully and choose wisely.
Ke a leboga. I thank you.

Overcrowding remains the sore finger on the hand of the DCS

Note to editors: The following speech was delivered in Parliament today by the DA’s Shadow Deputy Minister of Correctional Services, Werner Horn MP, during the Budget Vote on Correctional Services.
It is, as has been pointed out here today, commendable that the audit outcome of Correctional Services has improved over the last years. This has allowed us to scrutinise with increased accuracy the performance of this Department.
It is not difficult to identify the sore fingers on the hand of Correctional Services as has been done here today by colleagues like the Honourable Selfe.
At the risk of oversimplifying the problems faced by the Department of Correctional Services (DCS), it must be stated that overcrowding remains the big problem. If addressed successfully, the ripple effect will improve not only the effectiveness of incarceration but also that of rehabilitation and social re-integration. This will simultaneously help to address the constant problems in retaining skilled staff, maintaining staff morale and motivation.
More than twenty years into our democracy, it really is unacceptable that some DCS facilities house two and a half times the number of detainees. They were it was intended for. And it really should not have been necessary for a Judge of the Constitutional Court inspect Pollsmoor and for an NGO to approach our Courts for an order to enforce his findings, to force the DCS to craft and implement plans to reduce overcrowding at facilities in bigger cities.
Chair, to ANC colleagues in committee, rather than using briefings like the one last week on how the DCS responded to the judicial report and order into conditions at Pollsmoor to criticise the judiciary because it has pointed out this sore finger, and rather than proposing that the Correctional Services Act must be amended to take away the rights and duties of our judiciary to visit correctional facilities, we, as members of the Legislature, should be introspective and ask why the judiciary is more effective in pointing out the human rights violations at our correctional facilities and bringing about the changes in living conditions of detainees we also talk about in committee ad nauseam?
I will tell you why. It is because you, as ANC members, are too scared to hold the Executive properly to account. You use your majority to ensure committees pay only lip service to oversight.
But this has now caught up with you. The reality is that if you did not, for the sake of political expediency over the years, create a situation where reporting is deemed to be equal to accounting, the Portfolio Committee could have been the institution issuing all the directives issued to ensure a plan of action was implemented to reduce overcrowding and improve the living conditions in Pollsmoor.
What’s more is that instead of looking failure squarely in the eye and making a promise to yourself to do better going forward, you instead berate the judiciary for overreach and ask why judges are allowed to inspect correctional facilities. This is a sad indication of how unsuited the ANC has become for government in a constitutional democracy.
Proper oversight would long have demanded that the DCS craft and implement the type of plans which was now ordered by our courts.
Proper oversight would long have ensured that the build programme, so necessary to create additional bed spaces, is accelerated beyond the promise recycled every year and presented as a fresh plan to create thousands of bed spaces.
Proper oversight should not be afraid of offending the Executive or finding failure.
Because proper oversight will always strengthen governance.
We need the type of good clean governance that will ensure the capital budget of the DCS is not only spent, but spent in a prudent, responsible manner. Ensuring that the taxpayer gets value for money for every cent allocated to the DCS and earmarked for the building and refurbishment of correctional facilities, the upgrading of IT and other reporting systems, of money allocated for not only the care of offenders, but also their rehabilitation and social re-integration.
This ANC government has shown that it can only talk about the strengthening of governance, but after 2019 a DA-led administration will show that it is possible to deliver.
For the sake of South Africa, we will make Correctional Services work.

DA requests debate of national importance on violence against women

The DA has today written to National Assembly Speaker, Baleka Mbete, requesting a debate of national public importance on violence against women in terms of National Assembly Rule 130.
A recent string of utterly shocking cases has brought to light the scourge of violence against women which is plaguing our country:
• In March 2017, 11-year old Stasha Arendse was kidnapped, raped and killed;
• On 4 April 2017, a Grade 2 girl was raped by Grade 7 boys at her school. On 28 April 2017, 22-year old Karabo Mokoena was reported missing and on 29 April 2017, her body was recovered, having been necklaced and thrown in a ditch; and
• In the last 17 days, 15-year old Nombuyiselo was burned to death; 3-year old Courtney Pieters was allegedly raped twice by a 40-year old man and then murdered; a 2-year old girl was allegedly raped and killed by her father; and Popi Qwabe, Bongeka Phungula, Lerato Moloi and an unidentified woman were all found dead in Soweto.
While this scourge has rightly received increased attention in the past days, the sad truth is that this is not a new occurrence. Women in South Africa are routinely subjected to these most horrific incidents, and they occur without the same media attention.
When this debate is scheduled we will demand that Police Minister, Fikile Mbalula, Women Minister, Susan Shabangu, and Justice Minister, Michael Masutha, partake in this debate because they have been quiet on the issue and have had no solutions to make South Africa a safer place for women, for too long.
The ANC government has completely failed in its duty to make our society safer for all members, and specifically for women, by not tackling issues of patriarchy and gender violence, further compounded by ineffective policing and often police indifference to serious cases.
The DA, therefore, believes that it is absolutely crucial for the issue to be debated by Parliament. We will require clear plans from the implicated Ministers, and we will hold them to account.
Mbalula, Shabangu and Masutha need to account to the National Assembly and indeed to the nation on why their departments have failed to date on this issue and what will be done going forward to bring this suffering to an end.
As a nation we need to stand up, men and women alike, in defence of women and say that enough is enough.

National Treasury’s search for a new Director-General must be Gupta proof

The Director-General of National Treasury, Lungisa Fuzile, who was central to the fight against state capture, looting and big spending, retires today after twenty years of service at National Treasury.
The process to replace him is reportedly already well underway with more than thirty applications having been received, including some applications from internal candidates within National Treasury.
There is a real risk that the appointment process will be hijacked and that a person who is more committed to serving President Jacob Zuma’s and his most important clients, the Guptas’, private interests, rather than the public interest, will be appointed as the next Director-General of National Treasury.
I will, therefore, submit a series of parliamentary questions probing the appointment of the new director-general to ensure the appointment process is “Gupta proof”, and that the successful candidate does not come with the Guptas’ “stamp of approval”.
In the end, Lungisa Fuzile served his country well for the past twenty years at National Treasury. We wish him well in his retirement and have a sneaking suspicion that he will not be farming for long. We hope he will bounce back and play an important role, perhaps in the financial sector, in South Africa.

ANC MPs must vote with their conscience, secret ballot or no secret ballot

Fellow South Africans,
We are gathered together here outside the Constitutional Court today to defend our freedom.
The future of our country lies in the hands of 400 Members of Parliament who have sworn to be faithful to the Republic of South Africa.
Very soon, that oath of office will be put to the test.
Very soon, ANC Members of Parliament will have to choose between what is best for themselves and what is best for South Africa.
Because very soon, the 400 Members of the National Assembly will be voting on a Motion of No Confidence in President Jacob Zuma. (Or perhaps 399 members now that Brian Molefe is back at Eskom.)
They did not swear to be faithful to Jacob Zuma, or to the ANC, or to the Guptas. They promised to be faithful to South Africa, and to the Constitution.
And this is all we ask of them today. We ask them to put South Africa first. No more, no less.
No matter what the Constitutional Court decides today – secret ballot or not – all we ask is that Members of Parliament vote with their conscience.
ANC MPs should not need a secret ballot to do the right thing. They should do it, no matter what.
My vote is not a secret. I will shout it from every rooftop – we will be voting President Zuma out. Every person who loves our country, we call on you to do the same.
We are not gathered here to plead for a secret ballot.
We are not gathered here to influence the court in its decision.
We are gathered here to urge ANC Members of Parliament to do the right thing, even if it is hard.
Many ANC MPs have spoken out against Zuma at meetings. They have spoken out in the media. They have spoken out on the streets. Now it is time to speak out in the only place it can really count: in Parliament.
Every ANC MP who is considering voting for South Africa, we want you to know that you are not alone. The whole country is with you.
The future of our beloved country should not rest on the question of a secret ballot.
It should rest on the willingness of all Members of Parliament to do the honourable thing and put South Africa first.
The future should not be decided in Luthuli House or in Saxonwold. It should be decided in Parliament.
The choice that MPs face is simple:
Are they going to side with a President who has sold our country to the Guptas?
A President who used R250 million of our money on building his palace of corruption?
A President who was found by the Constitutional Court to have violated his oath of office?
Are they going to side with a President who has reduced our country to junk status?
A President under whose watch the economy has stagnated and 9 million South Africans are without work?
Or…are they going to side with the people of South Africa?
Both Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe have called on ANC MPs to vote with their conscience.
And we are here today to do the same. Secret ballot or no secret ballot.
The National Assembly is meant to be the voice of the people. Not the voice of the President. Not the voice of the ANC. Not the voice of the Guptas. But the voice of the people.
And the people say: We want a free South Africa. Not one that has been sold to the highest bidder. We don’t want to be slaves in the Kingdom of Gupta.
We want to be free South Africans in a free South Africa.
A South Africa in which those entrusted with power do the right thing, even when it is hard.

BOKAMOSO | Mashaba’s team gives a tantalizing preview of a post-ANC South Africa

Mayor Herman Mashaba’s State of the City Address, delivered last week, makes for brilliant reading. It fills one with hope for a future South Africa that is modern, united and working. In Johannesburg, the foundations for that future are already being laid, because residents voted for change in 2016, and because a diverse group of parties has had the good sense to rise above their differences in pursuit of that change. Mashaba’s message is clear and authentic. It leaves no room for doubt that this is the way forward for SA: coalition government, so that no single party can abuse their power in our country ever again.
And they have their work cut out for them. They inherited a city in a parlous state of disrepair, a city with crumbling infrastructure and massive housing backlogs, a city held hostage by drug lords and crime. Most of Johannesburg’s 181 informal settlements have no basic services at all. Worst of all, 862 000 people are unemployed and youth unemployment is over 50%. It is unthinkable that the previous ANC government could have seen fit to build a R360 million new council chamber while people are subjected to these most dire conditions, living with indignity and in fear.
The violent protests that have flared up this week in Ennerdale, Eldorado Park and other areas around the country are fuelled by anger and frustration, the result of an ANC government that long ago stopped caring about the poor. South Africa is a powder keg of discontent. Every spark of protest has the potential to ignite a chain reaction of anarchy and destruction, which will produce even more suffering and frustration, but no winners. In some cases violence may be incited by opportunists fanning the flames in an effort to render DA-led cities ungovernable. It will not work.
Whatever the motivation, these protests are a measure of how disastrously ANC government has failed to deliver on its promises. They are an early warning system for the widespread chaos that might ensue if we don’t make some drastic changes very soon. Perhaps more than any other indicator, these protests highlight the urgency of a complete political realignment in South Africa. The people of Johannesburg opted for that in August 2016, and already many communities are experiencing real change, with so much more on its way.
Mashaba’s team has made a clear break from the previous way of doing things. They have a categorically pro-poor agenda. On assuming office, they immediately set about redirecting funding towards electrifying houses, tarring roads, extending clinic operating hours, improving waste removal and providing housing in the poorest communities. Going forward, a minimum of 60% of the City’s capital expenditure will be on projects in underserviced areas.
To reverse massive unemployment, they have a target to achieve a minimum of 5% economic growth in the city by 2021. They intend for Johannesburg to be the engine room of SA’s economic growth. Undoubtedly, economic stagnation is the root cause of protest action. The team is establishing an investment desk in the mayor’s office, and small business (SME) hubs throughout the city, with the sole focus of making Johannesburg as business-friendly as possible.
Mashaba’s motto is “service with pride” and his team is dedicated to building a professional, committed and responsive civil service, which will help to attract investment and spur growth and job creation. They have initiated an independent skills audit to ensure that every manager is there because of what they know and not who they know. They inherited a billing system in shambles, and have already made great strides in improving revenue collection, which in turn produces more funding for service delivery. In March 2017 they collected over R3 billion in revenue, far exceeding their budgeted amount of R2.6 billion. It is the first time the City has ever exceeded the R3 billion mark, and they are confident of reaching the R4 billion mark by July 2017. And every cent must be well spent.
Mashaba’s team takes a zero tolerance approach to corruption, and has appointed General Shadrack Sibiya to head up their new internal investigations unit in the City. It has already exposed and prevented R2 billion of fraud and corruption, and 30 city employees have been arrested, with an additional 91 employees suspended and 3 resignations as a result of the unit’s work. Over 300 cases are under investigation, and a total of R10 billion is alleged to have been lost or misused. In stark contrast, Mashaba’s team has established an open tender system in which bid adjudication meetings are open to the public and the media. Transparency kills corruption.
Their recently completed comprehensive housing waiting list is going to be made public too, as soon as its audit is complete. And they have handed out 2800 title deeds to date, with an additional 1100 ready to be handed over. Title deeds confer ownership, wealth and dignity. Importantly, having a title to a home provides residents with the economic opportunity to better their lives and enter the mainstream economy.
The revitalization of Johannesburg’s inner city is a key element in their quest for 5% economic growth. To fight crime, they are in the process of putting another 1500 metro police officers on the streets, and have launched a Narcotics Unit which has already made 597 arrests and recovered 100kgs of drugs, 463 stolen or hijacked vehicles, 1044 stolen items of property and 52 firearms.
Mashaba’s diverse team can be exceptionally proud of what they have achieved so far, but they are not blind to the enormity of the challenge which still lies ahead. The magnitude of the backlogs is staggering. One shudders to imagine the scale of unnecessary decay and suffering had the residents of Johannesburg waited another five years before choosing real change. And this is the key lesson to be learnt from the protests flaring up around South Africa. There is no time to lose. South Africans must vote for real change, nationwide, in 2019. A post-ANC South Africa is not only possible, it is the only way forward.

#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.

Malusi Gigaba’s maiden press conference likely to cause more policy uncertainty in SA

Newly appointed Minister of Finance Malusi Gigaba’s maiden press conference to “restore confidence and restore calm” is likely to have exactly the opposite effect and create even more policy uncertainty when it comes to the economy in South Africa.
The minister expressed his commitment to “radical economic transformation” with almost religious zeal, but then did not seem to be able to explain exactly what it means and conceded that there was still “a whole lot of clarification that we have to do”.
This is unlikely to go down well with what the minister called the “credible ratings agencies”, with one ratings agency already warning that a change in policy may signal a ratings review of South Africa.
The real concern is that the minister was appointed with the Guptas’ stamp of approval and the real test of the new minister will not be his words, but his deeds when it comes to decisions that may have an effect on the Gupta empire’s interests in South Africa.
These include, but are not limited to, the following: the appointment of the Chief Procurement Officer at National Treasury; the approval of the joint venture or partnership with VR Laser Asia; the review of coal contracts entered into between Eskom and Tegeta Exploration and Resources; and any action in respect of the control over the Habib Overseas Bank.

DA to urgently interdict the swearing-in of Zuma’s new Ministers

Last night’s decision by Jacob Zuma to fire Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, his Deputy, Mcebisi Jonas, and a host of Members of the Executive – replacing them with compromised and co-opted individuals – has completed his self-serving project of State Capture. We must act now, as our country and our shared future depends on it.
Therefore, the Democratic Alliance (DA) has today taken a decision to institute urgent legal action to stop this assault on our Constitution and our people. We will this afternoon file papers in the Western Cape High Court seeking an urgent interdict to halt the swearing in of Jacob Zuma’s compromised cabinet members, and the implementation of his reshuffle, which is set to take place at 18h00 this evening.
Last night’s decision has devastating ramifications for the future of our country. The Guptas now not only have unfettered access to our national keypoints as they did to the Waterkloof airbase, to multi-million rand coal tenders, and to cabinet appointments – but crucially now hold the key to our National Treasury and our R1.56 trillion national budget.
The President must be removed from office, and it is the role of Parliament to do so. It is the House that elected him, and it is the House that must remove him. Therefore in addition to our urgent legal action, I – as leader of the official opposition – will lead a march to the ANC’s headquarters at Luthuli House next Friday 7 April, calling on the ANC to support our Motion of No Confidence in President Zuma, which will be before Parliament in the coming weeks.
We are calling on South Africans from all walks of life – political parties, NGOs, civil society – and any South African who cares about the future of our country to join us in our movement for change.
Our country has now reached a crucial tipping point. Jacob Zuma, and his cabal of liars and looters, have made it crystal clear: they come first, and the people of South Africa come last. Our country deserves better than treasonous conduct by those in power.
The time for change is now, and as South Africans, we must stand together and defend what so many gave their lives for.