Mmusi Maimane, DA
Following a meeting Tuesday morning with members of the South African Police Service (SAPS), we have been informed that the SAPS will be unable to protect our marchers and ensure their safety from threats of violence from the ANC. Numerous threats of violence have been received from the ANC’s Youth League, as well as certain branches within the ANC.
Therefore in order to ensure a safe, inclusive and non-partisan march which caters for all South Africans, the DA has taken a decision to amend the route and gathering point of our March for Change this Friday 7 April 2017.
The March for Change will now begin at the Westgate Transport Hub at 10h00 on Friday morning, and will end at Mary Fitzgerald Square, Johannesburg.
We once again call on all South Africans from all political persuasions to join us as we march through the streets of Johannesburg this Friday. I have this week extended invitations to members of civil society and the business community to join us.
The March for Change has one clear goal: to unite South Africans across race, culture, religion and political affiliation in calling for Jacob Zuma to be removed as President.
— Phumzile Van Damme (@zilevandamme) April 4, 2017
DA Shadow Minister of Finance
The appointment of the new Minister of Finance, Malusi Gigaba, has been a disaster for the economy of South Africa.
The minister’s first one hundred hours, in what he called the “hot seat”, has been a monumental shambles – the rand tanked, ten-year bond yields spiked and the country was downgraded to “junk status” by Standard & Poors.
This should not come as a surprise considering the minister’s weekend press conference, which was called to “restore confidence and restore calm”, but then proceeded to do exactly the opposite.
He suggested that:
- policy changes could be expected when he committed himself to implementing “radical economic transformation”; and
- that institutional changes could be expected at National Treasury, which he seemed to suggest was dominated by “orthodox economists, big business and international investors”.
And it got worse when the minister could not explain what “radical economic transformation” meant and was forced to concede there was still “a whole lot of clarification that we have to do.”
The minister then compounded the problem at Tuesday’s press conference, which was called to do damage control following the downgrade to “junk status”, when he suggested that he was “committed to inclusive growth”, but had not abandoned “radical economic transformation”.
The minister’s damage control exercise was an own goal because it will give oxygen to the narrative that there is policy uncertainty and it will not go down well with the ratings agencies, which are concerned about possible “policy shifts” following the midnight cabinet reshuffle.
The fact is that the minister is just not up to the job and there is now a strong impression that: Malusi Gigaba is just Des Van Rooyen in a designer suit.
Zakhele Mbhele MP
DA Shadow Minister of Police
Comments made by the new Minister of Police, Fikile “Razzmatazz” Mbalula, that police must “fight fire with fire”, “shoot back, don’t retreat” and that he “does not want another Marikana” in reference to the constitutionally enshrined right to protest are deeply troubling and only confirms that he is not fit for office.
These disturbing comments, made at a parade held by the South African Police Service (SAPS) Tuesday morning, are reckless and could result in loss of life, including the lives of police members and innocent bystanders.
The DA is of the belief that both Mbalula, and his Deputy, Bongani Mkongi, are unfit to head the Department of Police, as both have expressed troubling views on the use of violence, and how the people of South Africa can and should be treated.
Mbalula, while he was Deputy Minister of Police for a few short months between 2009 and 2010, suggested that it was inevitable that innocent civilians will die in crossfire in the fight against criminals, and urged police to shoot to kill “anybody who is endangering the lives of the people”.
In 2016, Mkongi suggested that a Cape Town apartment building – to which a giant “Zuma Must Fall” billboard had been attached – should be burned down, irrespective of the occupants inside.
It is unacceptable that these men, who can so glibly utter such thoughtless and dangerous statements, can be trusted with the safety and security of millions of South Africans.
Yet, it is obvious that Mbalula and Mkongi represent the interests of Jacob Zuma who consistently rewards those who are ineffective, yet compliant. Their concern is not the ordinary South Africans who suffer from violence and crime on a daily basis.
Mbalula and Mkongi would rather revel in pomp and ceremony at a parade to honour their egos than get down to the very serious business of ensuring that SAPS members have the equipment, training and resources they need to make South Africa safe.
It is apparent that Mbalula is willing to prioritise pomp and ceremony over the needs of the SAPS and the safety of the people of South Africa.
The DA will submit parliamentary questions to find out exactly how much was funnelled from the SAPS to pay for this parade.
The DA will not stand by while money that should be spent on equipping the SAPS and making South Africans safe is wasted on feeding Mbalula’s ego.