In the words of our beloved Madiba, “to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”
Freedom is more than the ability to vote. Real freedom is being given the opportunity to turn dreams into realities, no matter who you are, what you do or where you come from.
We have a long way to go in achieving this type of reconciliation and equality; racism is sadly still part of our daily lives and we all have a responsibility to root it out.
Today we remember those young South Africans who lost their lives fighting for this freedom. The Sharpeville Massacre characterised a time in our history when the brutal apartheid regime prevented millions of South Africans from having access to the most basic of human rights.
The DA’s founding organisation, the Progressive Federal Party, under Helen Suzman, led the charge against the apartheid regime, highlighted by its solidarity with those injured and killed during the 1960 Langa Massacre.
So much has been sacrificed by so many people in our effort to find true freedom, fairness and equality for all. It is therefore devastating to witness the current ANC administration’s flagrant abuse of our Constitution, all in defence of one man – Jacob Zuma.
While the ANC rallies around this compromised and captured President, many South Africans still struggle without jobs, drinking water, adequate housing, proper sanitation, education and healthcare.
I believe in a South Africa where government puts the people first, and this is what the DA will do for the people of Nelson Mandela Bay. For too long, Bay residents have been last on the corrupt ANC’s list.
The bill of rights is unambiguous in its purpose – all branches of the government, including the national executive, Parliament, the judiciary, provincial governments and municipal councils are bound by it to preserve all human rights, without exception.
It is impossible to reconcile the current ANC administration with the example set by Nelson Mandela. Thus, it is crucial that those of us who still believe in our democracy work day and night to preserve it.
Our South Africa must come first, because if we cast that priority aside to make space for personal gain, all will be lost.
Our city, and our Metro deserve to be up there with the greatest places in the world. We have the passionate people, the resources and the potential to be a real success story.
I will work tirelessly to turn Nelson Mandela Bay into a safe, caring and inclusive city that is forward thinking and well run – built on the foundations of freedom, fairness and opportunity.
Change is coming, because I am confident that the people of this great nation will realise that our dream is still alive, and that at this year’s local government election, we will turn towards a future that aims to deliver better services, that actually fights corruption and that creates jobs.
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