“I think he would struggle to campaign for this organisation. Quite frankly, [the ANC] has become a corrupt organisation. It has become an organisation that no longer serves the interests of the people. His delay [to join in the election campaign] is very telling,” Maimane told reporters at the Union Buildings after unveiling posters that read “Honour Madiba’s dream, vote DA”.
“It’s a fact that no former president is even willing to wear a shirt with [President] Jacob Zuma’s face on it. It tells you how much this organisation has changed. The ideals are no longer there. That’s why our struggle is to say: ‘Let’s honour Madiba’s vision of a nonracial South Africa.’”
Maimane said Zuma has been dividing South Africans on the basis of race and Mbeki would be disingenuous if he hit the campaign trail for a compromised ruling party.
“Jacob Zuma is standing up publicly, saying black people must be that side and white people on that side – dividing South Africans on the basis of race. I think it would be disingenuous of president Mbeki to campaign for that. I actually think it would be a betrayal,” said Maimane.
Asked what he thought of Mbeki’s continued support for the ANC, Maimane responded: “Nobody is saying he’s not [a member of the ANC]. I think you would be well-placed to ask him why he is not campaigning. I’m just giving my reasoning on why I think he’s right to stay away from this campaign.”
Maimane and Tshwane mayoral candidate Solly Msimanga on Monday unveiled campaign posters urging South Africans to honour former president and ANC stalwart Nelson Mandela by voting for the DA.
The DA posters written “Honour Madiba’s dream, vote DA” were unveiled outside the Union Buildings perimeter fence and a few metres from the nine-metre-tall bronze statue of former president Mandela.
“Fellow South Africans, I’m a proud South African. I’m proud of the achievements of people like Nelson Mandela who, when times were tough, knew that we are better together. We must never ever let the sun set on such a glorious occasion and achievement,” Maimane said while addressing DA supporters.
Maimane took a swipe at Zuma, calling him fundamentally corrupt.
“We are not saying Nelson Mandela should be a member of our party. That is not what we are saying. We’re saying the values of Mandela were timeless. They were values South Africans from all walks of lives stood and fought for. You can’t say politics must be divided on racial lines but that is Jacob Zuma’s campaign – a man who is fundamentally corrupt,” said Maimane.
“When he (Zuma) speaks of of a better life, he means a better life for his friends, the Guptas. When he took the oath of office here, to serve and protect the Constitution, it was a complete lie because Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng has already said Jacob Zuma violated the Constitution. How do we listen to a person whose interests are linked to corruption?”
Maimane said Zuma was invoking apartheid to win votes for the ANC.
“He is invoking apartheid to try and campaign for the ANC. He wants to invoke the Population Registration Act, which says black people this side and white people that side – the very act that Nelson Mandela fought against. Jacob Zuma wants it in our politics. He is saying if you are black you must be in this party, and if you’re white you must be in that party,” said Maimane.
“Zuma is failing to acknowledge people like Joe Slovo, Beyers Naude, Helen Suzman, Ruth First – South Africans who said even though they benefited from apartheid, they were willing to fight against it.”
Msimanga said with nine days before the highly contested August 3 municipal elections, he was confident he would outwit ANC Tshwane mayoral candidate Thoko Didiza at the polls.
“When they said they they want to bring Parliament to Tshwane, remember they were trying to run away from a DA-run municipality. What they were forgetting is that this is also going to be a DA-run municipality. Wherever they go, they will always be in a DA-run municipality. It’s good because we need both houses of governance (Parliament and Union Buildings) in a DA-run municipality, so that we give them good services,” said Msimanga.
“I’m excited because in nine days’ time, we will say this is a DA town, and we will then start speeding up service delivery in our town. Ours is to turn this capital city around and make it a capital city we can all be proud of. We are doing this because we understand the values of Nelson Mandela.”
– African News Agency (ANA)