The day the African National Congress abandoned its values and its people came in December 2007 when Jacob Zuma was elected ANC president in Polokwane, Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane said on Saturday.
“That day marked the end of Madiba’s [former president Nelson Mandela] ANC. In its place was born a strange new organisation,” Maimane said at the DA’s August 3 municipal elections closing rally at Dobsonville Stadium in Soweto, Johannesburg.
“Selfless struggle gave way to selfish accumulation. Non-racialism gave way to the politics of race. The politics of the heart gave way to the politics of the stomach,” he said.
Maimane said that the once-great movement had become what former president Thabo Mbeki called “an ignoble, blood-sucking, and corrupt parasite” and that under Zuma, the ANC had become everything it once fought against. An organisation that looked after the connected few at the expense of the many.
“Back in 1994 we were promised a better life for all, but all we got was a better life for some. The ANC has turned its back on everything Nelson Mandela fought for. And so, when I decided to make a different political choice, I did it for Madiba,” Maimane said.
“We call him Tata Madiba because he was a father to all of us. Every single South African – black, white, rich, and poor. And as our father, he instilled his values in us – values like compassion, forgiveness, kindness, humanity, ubuntu. He taught us that we are stronger together. That we can prosper together as one nation with one future. A future in which all South Africans have the dignity that comes with a job.
“He also taught us that free people should be free to make their own free choices in life. For him, these values mattered more than party politics. He even warned that the ANC would one day turn its back on the people of this country.”
He said under Jacob Zuma, the government governed “like black lives don’t matter”.
“Under Zuma, the ANC was keeping black people in poverty while its leaders got rich and dividing South Africans along racial lines.
“People feel betrayed by this government. They voted for jobs and services, but instead they got more unemployment and more corruption. It is time to do to the ANC what we did to the apartheid government.
“It is time to rise up against the injustice that is perpetrated daily against the people of this country. We don’t want bloodshed, and we don’t want a war. We will not take power through the barrel of a gun. Because we have the power of our vote. And, as somebody once said, the ballot is more powerful than the bullet. We have a choice at this election.
“Nelson Mandela fought for us to have a choice. He spent his life in prison so we could be free. We can choose more corruption, more unemployment, more poverty, and more failed service delivery.
“Or we can choose change. Change that creates jobs, change that stops corruption, and change that delivers better services to all the people of South Africa. At the DA, we are continuing to build a nation that is prosperous for all. Where we govern, life is improving for every citizen – black, white, rich, and poor. Where the DA governs, we have the lowest unemployment in South Africa.
“Where we govern, life is better. But it is still not good enough. We know we have more work to do in many communities, and I promise you we will do better. Our opponents will tell you lots of lies about the Democratic Alliance. But our record where we govern speaks for itself. We are the only party that is carrying the values of Nelson Mandela forward. We are doing it for Madiba.”
“So let’s do it for Madiba on Wednesday. Let us choose clean government. Let us choose jobs. Let us choose service delivery for all. Let us choose change that moves us forward again. Let us live and strive for freedom in South Africa our land,” Maimane said.
— Mmusi Maimane (@MmusiMaimane) July 30, 2016
There will be those that say the Stadium was empty at #DAFinalRally.
Please RETWEET this far and wide! 25k strong. pic.twitter.com/YXCD4iwOVz
— Not In My Name (@Ant_vT) July 30, 2016
— Democratic Alliance (@Our_DA) July 30, 2016
– African News Agency (ANA)