Parliament and President Ramaphosa owe South Africa an early election

Issued by John Steenhuisen MP – Leader of the Democratic Alliance
05 Dec 2022 in News

Note to Editors: Please find attached soundbite by DA Federal Leader John Steenhuisen MP.

The DA has today submitted a motion to dissolve the National Assembly. We call on South Africa’s 400 Members of the National Assembly to support this motion, because it is strongly in the country’s best interest.

Thereafter, we call on President Ramaphosa to proclaim and set dates for an early election, to be conducted in 2023. The Constitution provides for this in Sections 49 (2) and 50 (1).

The ANC has effectively lost its 2019 mandate to govern, which was granted on the back of Ramaphosa’s promise to clean up the state and reform the economy.

Instead, he himself is entangled in a web of personal wrongdoing, while South Africa battles an electricity crisis, a cost-of-living crisis, a joblessness crisis, and a service delivery crisis – all of which are set to get a lot worse in the coming months and years unless there is a step change in government.

South Africa’s future should not be decided now by 4000 bribed and bought ANC congress delegates, but by all the voters of this country. Parliament’s role is precisely to step up at times such as this, and hand power back to the people. It can only do this by dissolving the National Assembly so that the President can call an early election.

The Section 89 independent panel report into his many alleged wrongdoings in the matter of the theft of undeclared dollars hidden in a sofa on his Phala Phala game farm has left President Ramaphosa deeply compromised, regardless of the outcome of the possible review.

While President Ramaphosa fights for his political future, the country sinks ever faster into a state of suffering, destruction and chaos. The Presidency has claimed that Ramaphosa is guided only by a consideration of what is in South Africa’s best interest. There can be no doubt that an early election is in the country’s best interest. It is the only way out of the terrible mess we’re in.

Whether his Zuma-like Stalingrad strategy of avoiding accountability by dragging out legal processes is successful, or he submits himself to an impeachment process and a criminal investigation, or he simply relies, also Zuma-like, on being protected from accountability by a pliant ANC caucus in Parliament, South Africa has been plunged into an untenable situation that will only accelerate our decline.

In the event that the impeachment process goes ahead and rules against him, Ramaphosa has a wholly unsuitable individual, DD Mabuza, as his immediate successor. Mabuza has an international reputation for having killed and stolen his way to the top and he has done nothing of value for South Africa since becoming Deputy President. His rise to Acting President will deal a further terrible blow to South Africa’s wellbeing and credibility.

Furthermore, both the candidates lined up to take over the ANC Presidency – Zweli Mkhize and Paul Mashatile – are tainted by allegations of corruption, while the ANC itself is paralyzed by bankruptcy, infighting and outdated ideas. The ANC’s nomination list for seats on its 80-member national executive committee (NEC) is packed with convicted criminals and corrupt individuals. Ramaphosa’s only use to them is to keep them at the trough by saving the ANC from electoral oblivion in the next general election.

Whether or not Ramaphosa survives the Phala Phala fallout, there is no prospect at all of arresting South Africa’s rapid decline under an ANC government.

Ordinary South Africans cannot suffer further blows to their lives and livelihoods for 18 months while the ANC eats itself from the inside. It is time to hand power back to the people, to decide their own future.