ANC cadres within the SABC ban DA’s advert criticising the ruling party

09 May 2024 in News

Note to Editors: The following speech was delivered today by the Leader of the Democratic Alliance, John Steenhuisen, during the end of the party’s Rescue South Africa Tour in Soweto. 

A letter from the SABC is attached here.

Pictures from Soweto are attached here, and here.

Fellow Democrats,

I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to be here with all of you tonight in the City of Gold.

In Johannesburg, the beating heart of South African culture.

Over the past month, I have been travelling around South Africa to visit each of the eight metros, taking the message that a strong DA can rescue South Africa, to every major city.

This Rescue Tour has set a new standard for modern campaigning, with music, entertainment and a powerful message of hope delivered talented DA leaders from across the country.

I want to thank our provincial leadership teams, our staff, and everyone else involved for making this tour an enormous success.

I also cannot think of a better location for the Rescue Tour to reach its peak, than right here in Soweto.

Because Johannesburg is going to supercharge political change on the 29th of May.

This metro of nearly six million people not only represents the single biggest voting bloc in the whole country.

It has also suffered the consequences of political dysfunction on a bigger scale than any other place in South Africa.

Last Sunday, the DA launched a political advertisement that showed the people of South Africa what that dysfunction could look like after 29 May, if voters failed to come out in their millions to vote for the DA.

In what is already the most successful political advertisement in our democratic history – with over four millions views online and millions more on radio and TV – we symbolised how South Africa’s flag, its constitution, and its future would burn to ashes if voters sit back and allow the ANC, the EFF, and other destructive populists to seize power.

The piece delivered a powerful wake up call to voters that if they stay at home on election day, of if they split the DA’s vote, this Doomsday Coalition between the ANC and EFF would burn our country to the ground.

And boy, did it succeed.

For the whole past week, South Africa has talked about nothing else.

The prospect of seeing our flag, and all that it symbolises, going down in flames, has grabbed the attention of a country that is about to go through the most profound political transition in 30 years.

Because, in this election, the ANC will lose its majority.

But they will do anything to stay in power.

Imagine a coalition between the ANC, the violent EFF, and the Zuma faction.

Under this coalition of corruption, life will only get worse.

This election is about survival.

The survival of the South African flag, and our South African dream.

But the ad does not end there.

It goes on to show that there is a way – but only one way – to restore the South African flag to its full glory.

The way to prevent our flag and our country from burning, is by voting for the DA.

Because a strong DA can rescue South Africa.

If voters still had any doubt about just how bad things will get under an ANC/EFF Doomsday Coalition, the ANC confirmed our warning through their hysterical response to the ad.

In his desperation to defend the ANC’s plan to form a coalition with the EFF and other looters, Cyril Ramaphosa even tried to label our message as “treason.”

It’s funny that he should use this particular word to defend his plans for a Doomsday Coalition with the EFF.

Because if there is one person in this country who is guilty of treason against the people of South Africa, it is Cyril Ramaphosa.

He committed treason against our flag when he helped Jacob Zuma sell our country to the Guptas!

He committed treason against our flag when he served as chairman of the corrupt cadre deployment committee that captured our state!

He committed treason against our flag when he stuffed thousands of undeclared American Dollars into his Phala Phala couch!

He committed treason against our flag when he consigned over 30 million people to poverty and over 10 million people to unemployment!

He committed treason against our flag by plunging millions of children into hunger and malnutrition while he spends R139 million for food on board his VIP jet!

Cyril Ramaphosa and his corrupt ANC are traitors against the people of South Africa.

For thirty long years, they have desecrated our beautiful flag with their looting and their incompetence.

For thirty long years, they have betrayed the hopes and dreams of the people of Soweto.

For thirty long years, they have defiled the memory of Vilakazi Street by enriching themselves and impoverishing the people.

They live in luxury mansions funded by taxpayers worth R1 billion, while people in Gauteng still don’t have decent housing.

Over the past five years, they have bought over 50 new luxury vehicles for themselves while they destroyed the trains that used to take the people of Johannesburg to work.

They use taxpayer money to buy diesel for their generators, while the people are attacked on dark streets because they destroyed Eskom.

And if you still had any doubt that the ANC are an organisation of traitors who will light our flag on fire if we don’t vote them out on 29 May, just look at what they did this past week.

After the DA exposed how the ANC has set South Africa on fire through our advertisement, they immediately threatened to ban our ad in an unprecedented crackdown on freedom of speech.

The ANC knows it is going to lose power in less than three weeks’ time.

So like tinpot dictators the world over, they have now started a crackdown on the opposition.

They have today even called for the DA to be barred from participating in the election!

This is the behaviour of undemocratic scoundrels who are terrified of the truth.

But the DA will not stop speaking the truth no matter what, and the simple truth is that the ANC have set our country on fire!

This comes after Ramaphosa was recently caught on a leaked recording, instructing the ANC that the media has “no right to criticise the ANC.”

Shortly thereafter, the State Security Agency – which has been centralised in Ramaphosa’s own office – invaded the SABC and subjected the independent-minded Head of News to so-called “security vetting.”

But the ANC’s assault on our freedoms reached true crisis levels this past week.

In their desperate attempt to suppress the DA because they know we are about to defeat them, ANC lapdogs inside the SABC have decided to ban the DA’s television commercial from the air.

They are actively preventing the people of South Africa from seeing the truth about how the ANC has set our country on fire.

This blatant act of censorship is an unprecedented assault on our democracy, less then three weeks before an election where the ANC is set to lose for the first time.

The DA has already briefed our legal team to urgently challenge this treasonous act by the deployed ANC cadres inside the SABC.

This attack on free speech and suppression of the opposition, only confirms the urgency of the DA’s warning contained in the ad.

The ANC’s clampdown on freedom of speech to protect itself from criticism, is but a small foretaste of what is to come under the ANC/EFF Doomsday Coalition, which will burn our flag, burn our democracy, and burn our economy to the ground.

But the people of Johannesburg know this better than most.

I don’t need to tell you how a coalition between the ANC, the EFF and sell-outs like the Unpatriotic Alliance destroy and loot.

The people of Johannesburg already live in that nightmare.

In Joburg, the future that the DA warns about in our advertisement, has already arrived.

The ANC/EFF Doomsday Coalition has set the City of Gold on fire.

In some cases literally, as residents burn to death inside hijacked buildings, and because the fire service has been destroyed.

Roads explode in the heart of the biggest city in our country.

Potholes have become craters, the taps have run dry, and millions of Gauteng residents are unemployed.

This is the dystopian future that awaits the whole of South Africa if voters stay at home, or fail to vote for the DA, on the 29th of May.

But, to the people of Johannesburg, I want to say very clearly today: it is not yet too late.

Because help is on the way from the DA.

I want to make a specific pledge to the people of Joburg today.

As you know, we previously tabled a motion to dissolve the dysfunctional Johannesburg City Council so that we can hold fresh elections and vote out the ANC/EFF/PA coalition of corruption.

This motion was defeated as treacherous parties voted to protect their own positions at the expense of the people.

But I have news for the puppet mayor and his fellow looters in the ANC, the EFF and the PA.

When the DA ascends to national and provincial government on 29 May, we are going to use the full power of the law to dissolve this corrupt city government and hold fresh elections.

So the Doomsday Coalition here in Joburg must start packing their bags, because the blue wave is going to sweep their corruption out of office after the 29th of May!

Fellow Democrats,

As we enter the final weeks of this historic campaign, we need to go to every corner of Gauteng and South Africa with a clear message.

The message is that a strong DA can rescue South Africa.

This message is symbolised by the final few seconds of our advertisement, when the flames are doused and the South African flag is restored to its full glory.

This is what we mean when we say that we are on a rescue mission.

Only a new government that is anchored by the DA can restore the hope we all felt when we saw our beautiful flag flying high for the first time in 1994.

To the single mother struggling to put food on the table for her children.

To the unemployed father who has lost his job because the ANC destroyed our economy.

To the young graduate who has been reduced to begging on street corners.

Help is on the way!

For the people of Soweto, I have a clear message tonight.

The ANC has confirmed that it is planning to sell you out to the violent EFF.

We know that Panyaza Lesufi is desperate to sell you out to the EFF, so that he can be reunited with the violent looters.

In this election, a vote for the ANC is a vote for the EFF.

Even if you have voted for the ANC before, now is the time to entrust your vote with the DA.

Because, unlike the ANC has done here in Joburg and plans to do provincially and nationally, you can be sure that the DA will never, ever sell you out to the violence and chaos of the EFF.

If you want the South African dream, with a home for your family, safe public transport or a car to take your children to a decent school, food on the table every day, and savings that you can use to retire with, vote for the DA.

Because the DA is the only party that has proven that where we govern, we create hundreds of thousands of new jobs.

Over the last five years, eight out of every ten net new jobs created in the whole South Africa, came from the only DA-run province.

If you want a job, vote for the DA.

But it doesn’t end there.

A vote for the DA in this election is also a vote to end load shedding and water shedding.

It is a vote to halve the rate of violent crime, including murder, gender-based violence and crimes against our children.

It is a vote to abolish cadre deployment and the corrupt system that only provides opportunities to corrupt ANC cronies, to ensure that all South Africans get fair access to jobs.

It is a vote to lift six million people out of poverty.

To triple the number of grade four learners who can read for meaning.

And to provide quality healthcare for all, irrespective of your income.

This is what the DA offers the people of Johannesburg and Gauteng in this election.

Ours is a vision to restore our great South African dream, as symbolised by the DA’s restoration of the flag that the ANC is busy burning.

The only way to do that, is by voting for the DA.

The DA is also the only party with a sustained track record of good governance, with the people we need to rescue South Africa.

That is why I now invite the DA’s provincial leadership, as well as our talented candidates from Gauteng, to join me on stage.

If you want a big, strong party with a proven track record of creating jobs to anchor a new government to rescue Gauteng, vote DA.

If you want that same strong anchor party at the heart of a new national government to rescue South Africa, vote DA.

And if you want to prevent the Doomsday Coalition from burning our flag and our dreams to ashes, vote DA.

Because only a strong DA can rescue South Africa!

We can do it.

We must do it.

And, together, we will do it.

Thank you.