The following remarks were delivered today by DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane, at the announcement of the DA’s Premier Candidate for KwaZulu Natal, at the Ohlange High School in Inanda, eThekwini. Maimane was joined by DA KZN Provincial Chairperson, Francois Rodgers.
Today I am pleased to be here at Ohlange High School in eThekwini to announce that the DA’s Federal Executive (FedEx) has ratified the nomination of Zwakele Mncwango as the Democratic Alliance’s Premier Candidate for KZN in the 2019 Election.
The ground we stand on today holds significance for not just our country’s past, but the direction we take in building our country’s future. This school was founded in 1900 by John Dube, who was the first President of the ANC.
Dube, along with his wife, Nokutela, made history as Ohlange became the first school in South Africa to be founded by a black South African. Many South Africans have passed through the doors of Ohlange, Chief Albert Luthuli among them. And it was within the walls of this school that the Father of our Nation, Tata Madiba, chose to cast his first vote in the first democratic elections on 27 April 1994.
Mandela, Luthuli and Dube were indeed heroes of their time. Pioneers who, in the face of adversity, held onto their conviction and fought for a free, democratic South Africa.
These heroes fulfilled their roles but were sadly followed by a group of individuals who have forgotten the plight of our people and have used their power to make themselves and their friends rich. The province of KwaZulu Natal is a striking example of this betrayal of the people by today’s ANC and its leaders.
KwaZulu Natal has the potential to be a province that can create jobs and opportunities for our people. But it’s taken a wrong turn from the path envisaged at the dawn of our democracy. Crime is rising, corruption is oppressing us and there is no fair access to jobs. This is not what we were promised.
The dominance of the ANC means they have become complacent and focused on enriching only themselves. Not only have they failed to create jobs for the people of KZN or keep them safe from crime, they don’t even know how to. They are no longer capable of managing the real problems the people of KZN face each day.
The truth is that until the ANC is removed from power, Utsotsi abakayi ndawo.
The tstoti’s have not just found their political home in the ANC, but the ANC has become the very vehicle through which they steal, loot, and even kill. KZN is a province marred by political killings, whereby ANC members resort to murdering each other in order to gain access to power and public funds.
Just two days ago, an ANC councillor was arrested for the murder of a fellow ANC councillor in Msunduzi, just less that 100kms from here. The findings of the Moerane Commission, which was set up to investigate political killings in the province, appear to be so explosive that its final report was withheld from the public and only tabled in a closed meeting in the KZN provincial legislature. Despite constant pressure from the DA, Premier Willies Mchunu refuses to release the report.
There is no doubt that the ANC’s patronage network, in-fighting for resources in government, and other internal ANC battles are the reasons behind these political killings. While the ANC fight each other, no one is fighting for the people of KZN.
Unemployment is on the rise, the provincial health department is on its knees – leading to the ongoing oncology crisis, and poverty is rampant. There has been a breakdown in basic governance, as many residents are without water, electricity, and basic services.
This is because the ANC has become the problem. It has failed and will continue to fail the people of South Africa. The values of the heroes of previous generations – such as Mandela, Dube and Sisulu – have long since left the ranks of the ANC.
Today, we desperately need a new generation of 21st century leaders that stand for the values of Freedom, Fairness, Opportunity and Diversity, to lead the charge in removing the failing and corrupt ANC from government. I have no doubt Zwakele Mncwango represents such a generation.
Zwakele has a vision for KZN that will see access to jobs for all, the eradication of poverty and inequality, and where all are united in our diversity – where it be race, religion or culture.
Born and raised in Nongoma in rural KZN, Zwakele is a son of the KwaMandlakazi tribe. His father was a security guard in Durban and his mother was a Hawker in Nongoma selling by taxi ranks and town streets. His parents worked hard to ensure that their family had something to eat and to pay school fees. As a young boy, Zwakele spent his afternoons looking after the family cattle and goats after walking 10 kilometres to and from school.
Zwakele has overcome the odds and has a National Diploma in Electrical Engineering, a Bachelor of Technology in Engineering Management, and a Master’s in Business Administration. From humble beginnings as a branch member canvassing for the party, Zwakele has risen through the ranks of the DA and is currently the DA Leader in KwaZulu Natal. He also serves on the DA’s Federal Executive and Federal Council.
From today, he will lead a team that will be committed to fighting corruption, working to fix the police service in the province so that it focuses on actually protecting and serving the people of KZN, fighting the scourge of drug abuse, creating fair access to real and long-term jobs and working to speed up the delivery of basic services to our people.
In a province of competing forms of nationalism – be they racial, cultural or religious – the DA stands alone in its offer of a multiracial, multicultural and multi-religious future. Zwakele will lead this charge in the province of KZN.
Today, I pledge the full support of the national leadership to Zwakele in his campaign to bring change to KZN. Only the DA can bring change that builds a better future for all in KZN.