Writing in the Citizen today (10 January 2017) Sydney Majoko seems to be under the illusion that Tshwane Executive Mayor Solly Msimanga was wrong to have undertaken a visit to Taiwan in strengthen trade relations and ensure more investment for the City of Tshwane because it is against government policy. He also believes that the DA should acknowledge this as a diplomatic faux pas by Msimanga.
Majoko should know that the oath of office that an Executive Mayor takes on assuming office is to “obey, respect and uphold the Constitution and all other laws of the Republic”. Nowhere does it say that he must uphold ANC (government) policy. Upholding his office, which Msimanga has done, is more than can be said about President Zuma.
This is not the first time that the DA/DP has earned the ire of the ANC government and its henchmen have taken exception to a DA led sphere of government taken the lead in policy only for that policy to eventually become government policy.
Remember in 2000 when the DA took control of the Western Cape at a stage when the ANC government was in denial about HIV/AIDS? President Mbeki and Health Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma refused to use antiretroviral drugs in state hospitals preferring to use Virodene (engine cleaner) to treat the pandemic.
At the time DA leader Tony Leon and Western Cape MEC for Health Nic Koornhof travelled to the EU to investigate importing ARV’s for use in the state hospitals in the Western Cape. They managed to achieve this and announced that ARV’s would be provided in all Western Cape health facilities.
Then, as now with the Taiwan visit, the ANC and their cohorts were furious with the then ANC spokesperson Smuts Ngonyama reported in the Sunday Times of 29 October 2000 as accusing the DA of something akin to “apartheid-era biological warfare providing toxic antiretroviral drugs to black communities.”
From this brave but controversial beginning South Africa’s now much vaunted AIDS policy developed for which the ANC now claims credit. The facts are the DA led the way by ignoring government policy.
As with the AIDS policy Msimanga’s trip to Taiwan was no faux pas