CAN WE TRUST THE ANC GOVERNMENT?
Up until President Zuma assumed office although I may not have agreed with many of the ANC government’s policies I did trust them to uphold the democratic order and respect the constitution of the Republic of South Africa and uphold the rule of law.
However, now I can unequivocally say that I do not trust President Zuma or the ANC government.
Twice in the last six years President Zuma has stood up with his hand on the bible at a public ceremony presided over by the Chief Justice and taken the following oath:
In the presence of everyone assembled here, and in full realisation of the high calling
I assume as President of the Republic of South Africa, I, Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma swear that I will be faithful to the Republic of South Africa, and will obey, observe, uphold and maintain the Constitution and all other law of the Republic; and I solemnly and sincerely promise that I will always—
• promote all that will advance the Republic, and oppose all that may harm it;
•protect and promote the rights of all South Africans;
• discharge my duties with all my strength and talents to the best of my
knowledge and ability and true to the dictates of my conscience;
• do justice to all; and
• devote myself to the well-being of the Republic and all of its people.
So help me God.
Yet at the recent ANC elective conference in KZN President Zuma said the following:
“I argued one time with someone who said the country comes first, and I said as much as I understand that, I think my organisation, the ANC, comes first.”
How can you trust a government whose leader proclaims that he puts the interest of a section of the population above the interests of the whole country? No amount of explanations can ever put any other interpretation to this statement – the ANC comes before South Africa.
When questions about this in parliament on Thursday 19 November the President saw fit to make light of the matter and chortle his way through his reply. He does not seem to understand that it makes no difference where he speaks he is first and foremost The President of the Republic of South Africa and not the ANC.
He also does not understand that it was NOT the ANC alone that brought democracy to South Africa. Democracy was brought to South Africa through a negotiated settlement between all role-players including the National Party, the IFP, the PAC, APLA, the Democratic Party and a number of other political parties.
Jacob Zuma or any other president should be impeached if they put any other organisation above South Africa.
It is not only the opposition parties that are taking issue with Zuma, speaking at the 13th Annual Business Awards ANC stalwart and former premier of Mpumalanga Mathews Phosa commented “The country and its people must come first”.
At the same ANC conference Zuma called on ANC branches to “make it impossible for any counter-revolutionary grouping to mobilise our people and lead them astray”. It is common cause that “counter-revolutionary” in ANC jargon means the opposition parties.
This is a clear abuse of power with the ANC now declaring former ANC strongholds “no go areas”. There is no guarantee that the IEC which is there to ensure Free and Fair Elections will uphold those principles now that Zuma has appointed one of his former advisers, who he described in parliament as a colleague (comrade?), as the Chairperson of the IEC.
Already his cadres have started to obey the leader’s orders, twice the last few weeks ANC members have disrupted and attacked DA members and supporters in Mamelodi and damaged equipment worth hundreds of thousands of Rands. It is quite clear that the ANC are desperate to retain control of the Tshwane Metro by all means, fair or foul.
How can we trust a government that does not take the current drought seriously?
Giggling in the National Assembly on Thursday President Zuma denied that there was a national water crises only that some provinces needed “special attention”.
Last week the Minister of Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs Pravin Gordhan said in 12 November “The water shortages in parts of Johannesburg were not a crisis because they could be managed”. Well in my opinion when schools and hospitals have no water there is a crisis.
Clearly Gordhan is at odds with his cabinet colleague Minister of Water and Sanitation Nomvula Mokonyane who warned on Sunday 1 November that South Africa is facing a severe water crisis and that the department might have to reduce water supplies if the drought affecting large parts of the country continues. She recommended that the city of Johannesburg – the country’s financial hub – introduce water restrictions similar to those implemented in the nation’s capital Tshwane.
However, while being aware of and acknowledging the crises the minister chose to go to Iran with Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa rather than attend important meetings at parliament including a sitting of the National Assembly where South Africa’s water crises was discussed.
Despite this crisis Minister Mokonyane’s department managed to under spend R1.6 billion of her department’s budget for infrastructure during the previous financial year and National Treasury has denied a rollover of the funds. Little wonder that recently three officials of the Department of Water and Sanitation were quoted in a newspaper as saying that the long term drought mitigation plans did not get the attention it needed. They went on further to say and I quote: “We didn’t ignore this or plan to fail, we just screwed up.”
How can you trust a government that when there is a R2.8billion shortfall for higher education they want to spend R4 billion on a luxury jet for the president?
Of course the Defence Force and Armscor have denied that this is true, they are only making enquiries, and the tenders are not binding!
According to the City Press, which has seen the tender document from state-owned armaments procurement agency, plans are going ahead to have the plane on the runway by April 2016. City Press further reported that Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula is “fed up” with not having VIP jets available for government VIPs; hence the plans to purchase this super luxury aircraft. The final request for information from interested parties is 20 November.
So far President Zuma’s only comment on the issue was during his recent state visit to Germany where he was interviewed by the SABC. When asked about reports about the procurement of a new VIP jet, his answer was: “You know South Africans. Even if it is a leaf just passing through, they say some animal has passed. Sensation, really.” Whatever he can’t explain away with “I didn’t know”, he dismisses as South Africans sensationalising his excesses and corruption.
During the President’s question time in the national assembly on Thursday 19 November President Zuma chose not to make a statement about the proposed purchase despite a written request to him personally from the DA’s Mmusi Maimane – a clear indication that the report on the acquisition is correct.
Furthermore Speaker Baleka Mbete would not allow an urgent question to be asked to the president and once Mmusi Maimane tried to pose the question Mbete declared the sitting adjourned. She once again used her position to protect the president. Another clear example of where the interests of the ANC were placed above the interests of South Africa.
In today’s (20 November) Mail and Guardian it is reported that President Jacob Zuma met with alleged Western Cape gangsters at his official Presidential Residence in Rondebosch Cape Town, in order to influence the 2011 Local Government Election. The allegations are that President Zuma may have used his political influence to deter the South African Revenue Service (SARS) from taking action against certain gangsters in exchange for their political support to ensure that the ANC defeated the DA in the Western Cape.
Thousands of innocent South Africans are killed by gangs and gang violence every year, yet President Zuma would rather cosy up to gangsters than deal decisively with the scourge of gangsterism. In the Western Cape, gangsters destroy lives and communities, while desperate pleas by the Western Cape Government to Zuma’s National Government for action against gangsters have been repeatedly rebuffed.
This is another clear example of how the President’s commitment to putting the ANC first comes at a high price for ordinary South Africans. We South Africans must not allow our safety and security to be compromised by Zuma. This underscores the moral bankruptcy of his leadership and his lack of care for communities who suffer from gangsterism and drug related crimes. This is a new low even for Jacob Zuma who regards South Africa and its safety as a secondary priority in his bid to cling to power.
Yet despite these serious allegations the Presidency refuses to comment.
In previous editions of Political Perceptions I have detailed examples of President Zuma admitting to parliament that he is unaware about important issues such as a cabinet minister accusing the judiciary of collaborating with foreigners, or another minister who arbitrarily withdrew a mining licence. He is out of control; he giggles his way through questions of national importance and places a political party above South Africa.
We need a President that we can trust.
Until next time,
This newsletter is published by Clive Hatch former Leader of the Opposition in the Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature and former DA Provincial Leader. These views are my personal views and do not represent those of any other person or organisation.