The following remarks were delivered by DA Leader Mmusi Maimane during a public meeting in New Brighton, Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB), ahead of by-elections scheduled for 9 November 2016. Maimane was joined by DA Eastern Cape Provincial Leader, Athol Trollip:
Fellow South Africans,
It’s great to be back in Nelson Mandela Bay, one of the four metros that the DA now governs after presenting a credible vision for positive change that resonates with the 16-milion South Africans that we now deliver services to across our beautiful country.
When we started campaigning here at the end of 2015, we made three broad commitments that spoke to the need to transform society through our Manifesto for Change. The DA committed to bringing change that creates jobs; change that delivers better services and; change that stops corruption.
Today I want to focus on our commitment to stop corruption because if we do not address corruption and those who engage in it, it makes it difficult to meaningfully bring change that creates jobs and delivers services. That is why Mayors and Councillors here in NMB and other DA-governed municipalities have paid special attention to rooting out ANC-sanctioned corruption that is a trademark of where the ANC once governed and continue to govern, although in fewer and fewer areas.
Corruption in all its forms eats away at the possibility of job creation and service delivery. Corruption is not a “victimless crime” or a “Western paradigm” as once stated by a man who leaves a trail of lies, deceit and corruption wherever he goes.
This trail of lies, deceit and corruption can be defined by two words: State Capture!
President Jacob Zuma has perfected the crime of corruption by ensuring that the institutions tasked with uncovering and prosecuting against corruption are headed by yes men and women who have no regard for the Constitution, the Rule of Law and you, the people of South Africa.
We’re not surprised when there’s corruption and the name Jacob Zuma comes up, because he is the same man who started his first term in office, seven years ago, with 783 counts of money laundering, racketeering and corruption hanging over his “ugly head of impunity”.
In the last seven years Zuma has captured the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA); a long list of strategic state-owned companies; he dismantled the corruption-busting Scorpions and replaced it with the political hit squad called The Hawks; Zuma’s Executive has turned Parliament into a lap dog; he is currently trying to capture the keys to the National Treasury; and his latest act of corruption is to compromise the constitutionally mandated Public Protector so that the ‘Final Report’ into State Capture never sees the light of day.
The independence and credibility of the NPA wanes every day as its National Director, Adv. Shaun Abrahams turns it into the ‘JPA’ – Jacob’s Personal Assistant. This body is now tasked with eliminating those who work to remove President Zuma’s death grip on the State.
Fellow South Africans, President Zuma has corrupted the State and captured its institutions that fight corruption, for his own nefarious means.
President Zuma has for too long undermined efforts to hold him accountable, by showing disdain for the judiciary and its many damning judgements against him. He has also tried, after being investigated by the former Public Protector, Adv. Madonsela to disregard the authority of the Office of the Public Protector by referring to it as an “Ombudsman”. This man is dangerous for our fragile democracy.
As the DA, whether in government or opposition, we need to remain vigilant in the fight for accountability, transparency and the Rule of Law. If not, the fight against corruption will be severely compromised, because it is only the DA that has consistently championed and supported efforts to stop corruption.
It is for this reason that Democratic Alliance has such strong views about the new Public Protector, Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane.
The Public Protector, a Chapter Nine body, is tasked through the Constitution to do “to investigate any conduct in state affairs, or in the public administration in any sphere of government, that is alleged or suspected to be improper or to result in any impropriety or prejudice”, and in this regard “to take appropriate remedial action.” It is clear what the authors of the Constitution envisaged for this independent body; but what’s not clear is if Adv. Mkhwebane subscribes to the prescripts of her Office or the whim of Jacob Zuma, who is deeply compromised and corrupt.
When we fight against corruption and its allies, we are at the same time fighting for the people of this community and South Africa. When we stand up as a lone voice against people with an agenda that is at odds with the fight against corruption, we are fighting for change that creates jobs and delivers better services.
Fellow South Africans, we will not allow people or other political parties stand in our way as we fight against corruption. Zuma and the ANC will fall because they stand in support of corruption. If others do the same, their demise will be premature.
This community deserves better and South Africa deserves better. The first step towards building a better South Africa and stopping corruption starts with putting your ‘X’ next to the Democratic Alliance on 09 November.
Ndiyabulela. Baie dankie. I thank you!
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