By Janet Semple MPL, DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Economic Development
Note to Editors: The following speech was delivered in the Gauteng Legislature during the DA/EFF motion debate on ANC Chief Whip Brian Hlongwa’s fitness to hold office.
Honourable Brian Hlongwa, in interviews with the media, has stated that the allegations against him are not new and that they repeatedly become a talking point in this House.
Honourable Member Hlongwa is quite right, they are not new – and they do come up as a repeated issue in this House.
But this is not because, as the Member has claimed, that it is being done to tarnish the ANC, the ANC does that job quite well all on its own – it happens because there is an unresolved R1.2 billion case of corruption hanging over his head.
Imagine if no one pursued the Nkandla issue?
The dogged determination of the opposition and civil society ensured that former President Jacob Zuma was held to account for the excessive abuse of public money to establish his luxurious KwaZulu-Natal palace.
Perhaps Zuma sought inspiration from Member Hlongwa who purchased a palatial home in Bryanston with R7.2 million of the people’s money?
Honourable Hlongwa can claim the title, “architect of state capture”, because his underhanded dealings with Gupta-linked Regiments Capital supersedes their capture of the state under the watch of Jacob Zuma.
Gauteng’s healthcare system is collapsing under the weight of the debts it owes to suppliers and medical negligence claims as a result of the inadequate supply of equipment and deteriorating infrastructure.
Imagine if that missing R1.2 billion could be ploughed back into the coffers of the department?
Residents of this province would be afforded a much higher standard of public healthcare and it is likely that 30 day payments to suppliers would be within reach.
Even the deaths of 144 mentally ill patients, who were moved from Life Esidimeni in a cost-cutting exercise due to budgetary constraints, could have been avoided.
However, the “architect” still sits smugly in this house, knowing that he has the protection of the ANC.
This “Honourable Member” should do the honourable thing and recuse himself from the position he holds, as his continued tenure taints this House.
If you do not believe me, watch the polls next year and see how the voters of Gauteng endorse you by voting for someone else.
But I am not here to give lessons on public relations.
I am here, taking up our mandate for clean and transparent governance by the people who elected us as DA officials – even on behalf of those who didn’t.
Premier Makhura, do not tread the same path you did with former Member Mahlangu. Rid us of this fraudster.
But I suppose this is perhaps too much to ask of you, as we all know that the ranks of the ANC close tighter the more grandiose the alleged crime.
Despite your best wishes to woo people under your spell it is evident that the so-called “clean Gauteng ANC” is not so clean after all.