Meshack Radebe should be fired for his divisive remarks
Mmusi Maimane, DA National Spokesperson
21 August 2012
The Democratic Alliance (DA) is saddened, but unsurprised, by statements made yesterday by KZN MEC for Agricultural and Environmental Affairs Meshack Radebe. In a speech at a government event in Hlokozi on the South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal, Mr Radebe made several politically divisive and racially inflammatory statements.
He should be immediately relieved of his duties for his offensive remarks, and for abusing a government platform to make a party-political speech.
Here are some of Mr Radebe’s most offensive statements:
“Blacks who are joining the DA are confused and their parents should help them to see the right path.”
“Our black counterparts have joined the DA in its quest to insult us…”
“Now black people are wearing DA T-shirts and they are sleeping with the enemy… “
And in referring to a DA rally at Solomon Mahlangu Square during the 2011 local government elections, “They launched it on Mahlangu’s blood. It is sad to see black people in tow while the DA is going to a sacred place like Solomon Mahlangu Square…”
As a black South African, who is keenly aware of our country’s painful past, and who has chosen freely to support and participate in the DA’s vision of creating a better future for all, I am personally incensed by Mr Radebe’s remarks.
His remarks expose his prejudiced belief that people from different races cannot get together to work for a better future – a belief which is precisely the opposite of that held in our Constitution, and indeed the opposite of Nelson Mandela’s vision for South Africa. Our purpose as a country should be to build a better life for all, together, just like Madiba intended. But Mr Rabebe’s views only break down that vision.
People should associate with whichever political party they want to, based on which party can deliver best. I chose to support the DA because it is the party with the best delivery record in government; and because it has the best plan to eradicate poverty and create jobs. Many other people from across the racial spectrum are joining the DA for the same reason.
The time has come for South Africans to engage in a constructive political discourse that aims to find solutions to our greatest challenges: poverty, unemployment and inequality. Playing the politics of racial division and racial mobilisation is not the way to a better future. We must free our politics from racial division.