The Democratic Alliance’s (DA) parliamentary leader, Mmusi Maimane, challenged President Jacob Zuma in his speech in response to the president’s budget vote speech, to either lead the country which elected him to do so, or to step aside and let somebody else take over.
“Bold leadership is the difference between more and more of the same, or real and meaningful progress,” Maimane stated. He ended with the statement, “Mr President, lead or step aside.”
Maimane also pushed the president to give a response to the Nkandla debacle, as promised, stating that the people who elected him deserve to know the truth of the matter. “The people of South Africa who elected us to this house must know the truth on Nkandla, for until then, the cloud of improper financial benefit hangs over the president,” Maimane said.
Maimane’s statement is with regards to the Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela’s, report, titled, “Secure in comfort,” whereby she and her task team determined that the president allegedly benefited unduly from the upgrades to his Nkandla homestead. The Public Protector concluded that President Zuma should repay a portion of the funds which he has received unduly.
Maimane also included in his speech an item whereby he explained to the president that he will have to face the daunting task of opposing the South African Communist Party (SACP) and Cosatu. According to Maimane, this is a crucial step to be taken in order to set South Africa on a prosperous path towards financial stability and needs to be taken in order to set the National Development Plan (NDP) in motion.”Mr President, without bold leadership, the NDP is being stalled by these enemies, and those who did not even stand for election, the alliance partners of the ANC,” he said whilst addressing President Jacob Zuma.
Maimane stressed the fact that South Africa was at a crucial moment, whereby it needs to determine what type of country it will become by the year 2019. He added that the president must come to a decision on five crucial matters. The president must refuse the signing of any labour bills that could threaten jobs or job creation, he must set an example for the country against corruption, find a solution to the country’s youth unemployment, show his open support to democratic institutions, such as the Public Protector’s office, and show strength against the country’s unions, especially against the long-standing strikes.
Maimane stated, “When the honourable president fails to lead, but is rather simply a political captive being lead,then it is time to step aside.”