The first black leader of the Democratic Alliance, Mmusi Maimane who was elected in May has announced that he is about to start a campaign since next year’s local government elections are around the corner. Maimane said he is in a forceful mood and will stop at nothing in his party’s attempts to unseat the ruling party.
He said the campaign will highlight allegations of corruption against President Jacob Zuma and the African National Congress. He added that he will unveil DA’s plan to sort out what he sees as South Africa’s greatest challenge, that is, by creating millions of jobs and ending economic stagnation. “I will focus on a massive campaign that says ‘Jobs, jobs, jobs’,” Maimane said. He went on to say South Africans say they don’t have jobs because the ANC is corrupt. Maimane said this referring to claims that work is only given to ANC members by councillors responsible for a vast job programme.
He went on to say he will reserve his strongest attack for the President Jacob Zuma himself who has dodged hundreds of corruption charges, including those relating to the state funds used to upgrade his private compound at Nkandla.
“People are saying this is no longer the ANC of Mandela, but the ANC of Jacob Zuma, one that is epitomised by corruption. We’ve got to make sure that distinction is clear.” Zuma and the ANC deny the allegations.
Maimane said the powers vested in SA’s President by the constitution, written in 1994, had Nelson Mandela in mind, and “not a President with 700 charges against him, with power solely on his shoulders to appoint the national police commissioner, the national director of public prosecutions”. These constitutional powers “need to undergo a serious review.”
The DA has applied to join in an action before the Constitutional Court over a critical report on Nkandla by the public protector – the official anti-corruption watchdog – this year. The report recommended that Zuma pays back “a reasonable percentage” of public money used for upgrades not connected with security.
Furthermore, Maimane wants the ANC patronage to be challenged by constitutional reform, which he says has ensured investigations, such as that into the Marikana mine massacre in 2012, are ineffective. He went on to liken the ANC to SA’s former apartheid regime when he describes the governing party’s attempt to “capture” the state broadcasting company, to undermine the judiciary and to hobble the revenue-collecting authority – all institutions that he says the DA will fight to protect. Maimane who is also a former member of the ANC said they will stand up against the ANC government, which is bent on practising some of the tactics used by the National Party government, as they stood up against apartheid.
His party, he said, would offer a vision of freedom, fairness and opportunity through non-racial inclusivity, with economic growth and education. The DA leader said he believed that a more market-based economy would help tackle poverty and inequality.