The ANC has turned from a party of liberation into one that facilitated a criminal state, Democratic Alliance MP Wilmot James said on Saturday.
“It is as ironic and it is painful that the party that contributed so much to freeing us now wants to imprison our minds and keep us quiet,” he said.
“It wants cronies and tenderpreneurs who steal your money to get away with it. It wants us to say nothing about corruption when we see it. It wants to paper over what is a criminal state.”
James was speaking at a rally against the Protection of State Information Bill in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape.
He said the bill was “a horrific plan” that would rob South Africans of the freedom they had won.
“If it [the bill] goes through, it will take us back to dark days of apartheid when those of us who spoke up against evil were put in jail.”
The bill is currently with the ANC’s national council of provinces, who have proposed changes including exemption from legal liability for the disclosure of classified information that reveals ‘criminal activity’.
Wilmot praised the efforts of “many organisations” and “the efforts of some clear-thinking and genuine democrats in the African National Congress,” for the changes but said another surge in protests was needed.
“That is why we are here today. When I last saw Madiba he said that governments rarely do the right thing unless we take the fight to them,” he said.