Corrupt stability is not stability

Issued by Dr Mpho Phalatse – DA Johannesburg Leader
17 Oct 2022 in News

The following remarks were delivered by Dr Mpho Phalatse during a live broadcast today.

My fellow residents of Johannesburg

The past few weeks in the City of Johannesburg have been turbulent – a far cry from the stability that residents so deserve and yearn for.

In the wake of this instability, parties in the recently ousted Joburg Multiparty Government have been considering what it would take to restore order and resume the all-important task of repairing and rebuilding the city.

Of concern is the notion that a coalition with the ANC in its current form could provide this atmosphere for growth, when all we’ve seen in the last 28 years under its rule has been the complete opposite.

The idea of bringing stability by entering into a coalition with the ANC is not a new idea.

However, the notion is flawed for several reasons – the most obvious being that the ANC is entirely corrupt.

Recently, I stated precisely this: the ANC is corrupt. This was met with an empty threat by an ANC hack who demanded I retract within 48 hours or face a lawsuit.

This was absurd.

Firstly, you can’t be sued for telling the truth. Moreover, individuals can be defamed, but you can’t defame a political party.

But what was most interesting is that instead of me being faced with an avalanche of ANC trolls supporting the ridiculous demand that I apologise, there was a huge groundswell of support for my statement and it was repeated, thousands of times over by people from all parties and all walks of life: the ANC is corrupt.

But let’s say we do the unconscionable and overlook the ANC’s corruption and enter into a coalition with them, what would be the outcome? A stable coalition?

Perhaps. But I assure you, when it comes to carrying out corrupt activities under the radar, they are the undisputed champions.

There would likely be the odd brave whistle-blower or two, and believe me, I am very grateful for each and every whistle-blower.

But when such a scandal of corruption emerges, we would all get caught up in the scandal. Even those of us who had nothing to do with the corruption.

I don’t need to tell you that the DA has zero tolerance for corruption.

And the moment we demand accountability from our coalition partners, that “stable” coalition would instantaneously become unstable.

I can also assure you that identifying and prosecuting the guilty ones would be far more difficult than you think.

After decades of running a corrupt institution, you become masters of the cover-up.

As you probably know, I was recently removed from office by an unlawful coup. This is being challenged in the courts.

But in the meantime the ANC has wasted no time in preparing to resume their corruption and shield their agents from investigation.

People previously dismissed for maladministration and worse have been re-appointed into positions that are critical to the integrity of the institution.

As we speak, Johannesburg’s top investigative squad, GFIS, is without a head. We now hear that the ANC intends to place it under a unit that is meant to assure clean governance but is led by one of those individuals who was previously dismissed under a cloud.

Since she was re-engaged by the ANC, billions of rands of irregular expenditure have been incurred and, once again, corruption abounds.

This is no accident.

At the beginning of this year I had hardly been long in office when I was confronted by three of the City’s most senior officials who sought to disband GFIS.

According to their version, GFIS was a rogue unit acting outside of the law.

I challenged them to indicate how, by their version of the law, corruption was supposed to be tackled.

They promised to do so, but never gave their solution.

Ultimately, all three of them ended up facing charges of misconduct. As they say, “go figure”.

In Johannesburg’s case, there is another reason why a coalition with the ANC should not be considered.

A party that wants to be successful in government should be in a position to appoint the best possible Mayor.

That prerogative would ordinarily be that of the party with the largest number of seats.

In Johannesburg, the ANC has 91 seats out of 270. The DA has 71 seats.

While we are confident in our own ability to choose the right person to be the Mayor of our City, we have no confidence that the ANC could ever provide someone with integrity; someone with the political will and the latitude to deal with the hordes of corrupt cadres deployed by the ANC over decades.

So where does this notion come from that a coalition with the ANC is worth considering? Even if the answer is that it would be purely for the sake of stability, this would not be guaranteed.

It is a given that ANC corruption would be exposed at some point, perhaps only after billions have been siphoned from the people’s coffers.

But the moment you confront this corruption, and the ANC moves to thwart any attempts to prosecute its cadres, instability will break out in your coalition.

Clearly stability with a corrupt partner is no stability at all.

If you want to see an end to corruption, then don’t enter into a coalition with a corrupt partner.

After all, prevention is better than cure.

I give you my word that I will never stop fighting for the people of this great city.

And I will certainly never legitimise the ANC’s corruption by entering into a coalition with them.

We will restore Johannesburg to its rightful place in the world, and we will do it the right way.

Thank you.