Put the corrupt in prison, not Parliament

Issued by Mmusi Maimane – Leader of the Democratic Alliance
23 Jan 2019 in News

The following remarks were made today by DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane, in Umlazi, eThekwini, during the KwaZulu Natal leg of his Kasi-to-Kasi Tour. Maimane was joined by DA KZN Premier Candidate, Zwakele Mncwango.

Fellow democrats,

It is great to be here today in KwaZulu Natal, to bring the DA’s message of One South Africa for All to the almost 12 million people who call this beautiful province home.

One South Africa for All is a vision I personally hold dear, and a vision the DA is fighting for each and every day. That is, to bring change that creates a prosperous and reconciled nation that works. A South Africa in which jobs are created, corruption is eliminated, our communities are safe, our borders are secure, and basic services are delivered to all.

Because the truth is, South Africa is still split into two nations. We are still a nation of insiders and outsiders – of “haves” and “have nots”. We remain divided along racial, economic and social lines, and it is these divides that halt our progress. The DA’s vision is to break down these divides, whereas the ANC continues to keep us divided as this serves their own narrow interests.

Fellow democrats, corruption remains the biggest obstacle in our pursuit of One South Africa for All. Corruption is not a victimless crime, as former President Jacob Zuma would like to believe. The victims of corruption are the outsiders and the “have nots”, who remain locked out of the economy without any hope of a better tomorrow. And the beneficiaries of corruption are ANC fat cats who use their positions to make themselves extremely rich.

Over the past few days, testimony before the Zondo Commission has given us an intimate account of ANC-style corruption as it relates to the embattled facilities company, Bosasa. These revelations have shattered the well-peddled myth that corruption in the ANC was simply a feature of Jacob Zuma and the Gupta family. A system of corruption that builds a wall between insiders and outsiders is alive and well within the ANC.

From bottles of brandy to braai-packs to monthly cash bribes, ANC officials, heads of parastatals, and government ministers were bribed in order to ensure public money was channelled way from South Africans and into the pockets of Bosasa executives. From Nomvula Mokonyane to Lindiwe Sisulu; from Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula to Vincent Smith; from Lindiwe Zulu to Gwede Mantashe – the ANC chose to turn its back on the people of South Africa in pursuit of personal gain.

Worse still, President Ramaphosa himself is personally and directly implicated in the Bosasa scandal. Not only did he receive half a million rand “donation” from Bosasa CEO, Gavin Watson, towards his ANC presidential election campaign, but the President admitted in Parliament in reply to my oral question that his son Andile does business with Bosasa.

Following the Zondo Commission revelations, it is difficult not to view this R500 000 donation as a bribe. The fact is that Ramaphosa received R500 000 from a company that has been paying the ANC bribes for the better part of two decades. And it is to this that the President owes the people of South Africa the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Since Ramaphosa became President, not one ANC connected individual involved in corruption has been arrested. We need to ask ourselves frankly, what has changed? Cyril Ramaphosa will always sacrifice the unity of South Africa in favour of the unity within the ANC. We saw this here in KwaZulu Natal two week ago, where Ramaphosa and former President Jacob Zuma were arm in arm, cutting cake and drinking champagne.

Fellow democrats, this is not the South Africa we imagined in 1994. It was Nelson Mandela who, when referring to the ANC, said the following words:

“Little did we suspect that our own people, when they got a chance, would be as corrupt as the apartheid regime. That is one of the things that has really hurt us.”

We cannot continue along this path any longer. The ANC, like their counterparts in Zimbabwe, thought they could trick South Africans by simply changing the bus driver of a broken down bus. However, South Africans in their numbers are realising that we don’t need a new bus driver, we need to change buses. We need to climb onto a bus that is headed in the right direction.

This is where the DA’s offer provides South Africa with a clear choice. We can choose the ANC’s record of perpetual, unabated corruption. Or we can choose a different path. The DA’s record in government when it comes to corruption speaks for itself. We have zero tolerance towards corruption as it steals opportunity from ordinary South Africans.

In the Western Cape, corruption has been eliminated, as the government continues to produce clean audits, year in and year out.

In Johannesburg, the DA-led administration has uncovered over R20 billion in corruption inherited from the previous ANC administration – opening up criminal cases with the SAPS.

And in national government, Bosasagate offenders will be first in line and find themselves behind bars for 15 years in prisons that Bosasa and ANC government facilities management still hold the keys to.

Bribery is corruption, and this is the very antithesis of bringing change that builds One South Africa for All.  We must always stand up to corruption as it steals opportunity away from ordinary South Africans.

My call to South Africans is to join us this weekend in registering to vote for change that builds One South Africa For All.