Tshwane Violence: cowardly ANC must accept political responsibility

At the ANC’s mayoral candidate introduction today, the ANC failed yet again to take political responsibility for the violent protests that have racked the City of Tshwane, and which resulted in the loss of 5 lives.

They also prevented their imposed mayoral candidate, Thoko Didiza, from answering any questions on the violence in Tshwane.

It is shameful that the ANC leadership, and President Zuma in particular, have still not taken responsibility for the violence.

And it is a disgrace that their mayoral candidate, Didiza, is yet to make a public appearance in Tshwane or engage with those affected by the violence. She has shown no leadership in this crisis and has chosen to remain in hiding while the City burns.

The DA condemns the ANC’s inaction in no uncertain terms. It is as a result of their failure to address the problem created by Didiza’s imposition that Tshwane has suffered from 4 days of violence, destruction and loss of life.

There can be no denying that at the root of the violence is the imposition of Didiza as the ANC’s mayoral candidate for Tshwane by President Zuma and Luthuli House.

We cannot allow the ANC to distance themselves from the situation, or dismiss it as “thuggery” or spontaneous criminality. It is not. It is the concerted effort by a faction within the ANC to destabilise the City.

This was confirmed yesterday by the Hawks, who emphasised that “investigations are at an advanced stage” and that they have “names of people who allegedly orchestrated the violence.”

Gwede Mantashe further confirmed in an interview that the ANC were in possession of names and pictures of a group of ANC members who had met to plan the violence.

This stems from a WhatsApp message that came to light this week implicating a number of ANC councillors who allegedly met to plan the violence.

The DA can confirm that the most violent areas correspond to the constituencies of those implicated in the Court Classique Hotel WhatsApp message.

Other anecdotal evidence, such as the dissemination of audio clips specifically aimed at undermining Didiza, further points to a co-ordinated plan to incite violence.

I want to make it clear that the DA will do anything in its power to aid law enforcement officials to bring those responsible to book and will be providing all useful information in our possession to the Hawks to aid their investigation.

While those responsible must face the full force of the law, their prosecution does not detract from the fact that the ANC as a party is equally to blame.

As yet no political action has been taken by the ANC against those responsible for the violence. We cannot accept this.

The violence is political in nature and requires a political solution. Most importantly, it demands that the ANC accepts political responsibility for the chaos, destruction and loss of life they have caused.


Solly Msimanga

DA Mayoral Candidate for Tshwane