Lerato Ngobeni
2 minute read
8 Dec 2020
10:47 am

Right of reply: Lest we forget the truth

Lerato Ngobeni

What is missing in this equation, which Williams refers to options as a chessboard, is that this is not a game. This is the lives and livelihoods of the people of Johannesburg.

Johannesburg mayor Geoff Makhubo. Picture: Alaister Russell

Editor’s note: The following is a right of reply by political party ActionSA:

In reading Martin Williams’ piece, Let ANC keep Jozi, for now, one gains a perspective on the convenience of political amnesia and self-preservation.

Williams makes the case for how state capture implicated Mayor, Geoff Makhubo, should be allowed to stay on in the role until 2021. This despite the DA’s leadership in the City picketing outside the Zondo Commission calling for Makhubo’s resignation just days earlier.

What Williams does not share is that it was DA Councillors who gave Makhubo the votes he needed to become the Mayor of Johannesburg last year, despite knowing of the allegations against him.

He leaves out that the entire DA caucus voted in support of Makhubo’s budget in July, giving him the votes, he needed to avoid being replaced by provincial administrators and forcing fresh elections in the City.

Now the DA appears to be ready to forego the chance to remove Makhubo from office and protect the public monies of the City from the probability of further millions being pilfered.

I note with interest in The Citizen that DA Leader, John Steenhuisen, does not rule out coalitions with the ANC. Do the residents of Johannesburg need to start wondering whether a vote for the DA is a vote for the ANC?

Williams’ rationale for keeping Makhubo in office relates to the messiness of coalitions and the DA’s efforts to avoid such. Coalitions are undoubtedly complex arrangements and fraught with challenges. The problem with Williams’ logic is that coalitions are the future of South Africa whether or not they are deemed messy. Let us be serious for a moment, the DA is not going to capture 51% of the vote in 2021.

What is missing in this equation, which Williams refers to options as a chessboard, is that this is not a game. This is the lives and livelihoods of the people of Johannesburg.

Where is the outrage at the abuse of state power to profit by those entrusted to lead? Where is the fight for the residents of Johannesburg and the safeguarding of their public monies? Where is the commitment to do what is right, whether it is convenient or not, and combat corruption?

In keeping Makhubo, the DA appears more concerned with avoiding early elections, and the losses they are likely to suffer. This is more about self-preservation than the interest of the residents of the City.

Any political party that does not support a motion of no confidence in Makhubo should be suitably punished at the polls in 2021. It is not about whether it suits the strategy of the political party in question, it is about serving the residents of Johannesburg.

Lerato Ngobeni is the National Spokesperson for ActionSA.

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