Corrupt ANC members protected at the expense of the country

Issued by Phumzile Van Damme MP – DA Shadow Minister of Communications
12 Feb 2019 in News

The following speech was delivered in Parliament’s debate of the 2019 State of the Nation Address.

Honourable Speaker,

Over the last few months I have travelled South Africa listening to the concerns of the people of our country.

I witnessed first-hand the devastating effects that the rampant corruption of the ANC government has had on our people.

Many are unemployed, because money dedicated to job-creation projects has been stolen.

Many do not receive basic services, because money dedicated to service delivery has been stolen.

Many do not feel safe in their homes and at the mercy of criminals, because money dedicated to police resources has been stolen.

I listened to all those people who welcomed me into their homes, took note of all their concerns, and conveyed the DA’s message of hope for a better South Africa.

I told that under a DA-led government, we will bring change that builds One South Africa for All.

We will fight corruption; create fair access to jobs; make our police honest and professional; and speed up the delivery of basic services.

On the issue of corruption, specifically, I relayed that under a DA-government, anyone found guilty of corruption will be sentenced to 15 years in jail.

Sifuna kutsi tonkhe letigila mikhiba teANC, letiba timali tembuso tivalelwe ejele. Kwentela kutsi tive lobuhlungu lobumatima lobuviwa batfubakitsi labahluphekile only malanga ngenca yebugenbgu ye ANC.

The DA’s plan to tackle corruption includes:

  • Ensuring the payment of all public money is transparent;
  • Bringing in direct elections for all political office holders so that the South African people can hold their president, premiers and mayors directly accountable;
  • Implementing regular lifestyle audits for all politicians and government officials;
  • Protecting and encouraging ‘whistle blowers’ who identify and report on corrupt activities; and
  • Establishing an independent unit dedicated to identifying, fighting and prosecuting corruption.

Now, Mr President, I noted that in your speech you said, and I quote “…we have no choice but to step up the fight against corruption.”

“No choice”

I find it odd that you conveyed the need to fight corruption as difficult choice you had to make as if your hands were tied behind your back before.

It there makes sense why as Deputy President of the ANC and the country you turned a blind eye to grand scale corruption during the years of the Jacob Zuma Presidency.

I also find it odd that your speech was a little scant detail about how you will fight corruption. In the last 20 years South Africa has lost an estimated R700 billion to corruption.

You were correct, Mr President in saying that the action you take now to end corruption and hold those responsible accountable will determine future of our country.

What was missing for me in the President’s speech, Honourable Speaker was what he, as the leader of the ANC would be doing to hold those in his party accountable for corruption.

During the Jacob Zuma Presidency he sat quietly while the country was looted. He had a voice he should have used fearlessly as a patriot and took a stand against corruption by members of his party not only as Deputy President but a citizen of South Africa.

Party loyalties matter not when it comes to taking a stand against what is wrong.

To be honest I have my doubts whether the President will suddenly find the backbone he has lacked for so many years.

Let’s take for example the revelations in the Zondo Commission of Inquiry.

Testimony revealed that ANC Members of Parliament allegedly benefited from Bosasa.

Today, Minister Nomvula Mokonyane, ANC Chairperson Gwede Mantashe, Deputy Minister Thabang Makwetla and Mr Vincent Smith sit here happily in Parliament.

Why have they not been suspended pending the conclusion of an investigation and disciplinary inquiry given the gravity of the allegations against them?

Is it because, as it is always the case, the ANC protects its own.

Walk the talk, Mr President, show South Africa just how serious you about fighting corruption.

I challenge you, a suspension, lifestyle audit and investigation of Minister Nomvula Mokonyane.

I challenge you, a suspension, lifestyle audit and investigation of ANC Chairperson Gwede Mantashe.

I challenge you, a suspension, lifestyle audit and investigation of Deputy Minister Thabang Makwetla.

I challenge you, a suspension, lifestyle audit and investigation of MP, Vincent Smith

If not, you will remain the President who had no backbone and continued turning a blind eye to corruption by those in his party. No different to your predecessor, Mr Jacob Zuma.

It is this very culture that is ruining our country. The notion that one must protect members of their parties at all costs, even when implicated in wrongdoing.

The DA is no such party. We walk the talk. We work hard, we go hard, we grind until we get it. And we slay.

In DA governments officials and politicians alike found to be involved in corruption are held accountable. It does not make us popular, but it certainly shows our commitment to stick to our values and a zero tolerance to corruption.

Where we govern in the Western Cape, we received the highest number of clean audits (83%) in South Africa across all entities and departments. This is well ahead of the next province, Gauteng, which had 52% clean audits.

This is compared to zero clean audits when we took office from the ANC in 2009.

A clean audit does not only mean that the finances of the Western Cape Government are well-managed, but it means that money meant to improve the lives of the residents of the province is spent on them, and not channelled into the pockets of corrupt politicians. In fact, we spent 82% of the 2018 Budget on delivery of services to the poor.

My plea to the people of South Africa is this, we know that you know that the ANC is corrupt, but you feel there is no viable alternative. I know many of you are despairing because you see corrupt ANC politicians after corrupt ANC politicians escaping scot-free.

My message to you today is that the DA is that alternative.

We may not be perfect, but we are a listening party, which does not see itself as superior to the people of South Africa. We hear your cries, and we say, O siyeza, o siyeza, sizogudla kulomhlaba. Sizowela ngapheshaya lulezontaba ezimnyama. Lapha sobheka phansi konke ukhulupheka.

Please lend us your vote.