“Our leaders realised they could make money out of every job, out of every contract,” said DA leader Mmusi Maimane.
“It meant a better life for some… and they forgot about the rest of us. while too many of our people didn’t have water, some were drinking the finest champagne,” added Maimane.
“Those who started off as being liberators ended up looting from our people.”
Thousands of party faithful flocked to Johannesburg’s Rand Stadium, waiting for hours under a baking sun to hear Maimane’s pitch to unseat the ANC.
Maimane kicked off his speech with references to South Africa’s sporting and cultural heroes, before warning of a crackdown on corruption.
“I want to say to all the politicians, if you are corrupt, you can expect to spend 15 years in jail,” he said.
“I’m going to introduce an anti-corruption unit staffed by both specialist prosecutors and investigators.”
“Black people, white people, Indian people, coloured people — we are a party for all South Africans,” said Mamaine to cheers.
– ‘A party for all South Africans’ –
At the last polls in 2014, the DA won 22 percent of the vote, delivering 89 seats in parliament and the title of main opposition. It will be hoping to improve that showing on May 8 but may come up against smaller opposition parties.
After 2014’s polls, the DA subsequently took control of the capital Pretoria, the economic hub Johannesburg and the southern city of Nelson Mandela Bay.
The DA had hoped to exploit corruption allegations swirling around the ANC, particularly former president Jacob Zuma, to enhance its political standing — and potentially deny the ruling party an outright majority.
But bitter internal divisions have left the DA battling to capitalise on the ruling party’s shortcomings.
In August, the DA’s coalition partners in Nelson Mandela Bay pulled out of their agreement and stripped the party of its control of the city.
In October, the party’s high-profile Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille quit the DA, alleging racism at the highest levels of the leadership.
Then in January DA lawmaker Gwen Ngwenya quit her job as the party’s head of policy, accusing the leadership of not sticking to their pledges on affirmative action.
Maimane, elected leader in May 2015, has sought to throw off the party’s reputation as a voice of white voters and attempted to appeal to middle-class black South Africans.
Article source: https://www.enca.com/news/da-vows-war-graft-eyes-polls