Opinionista Herman Mashaba 21 July 2016

The ANC is no longer the party of liberation that it once was

I consider myself a moral person who tries to make fair and rational decisions to bring about the best outcomes for myself, my family, and the society in which we live in. For me to stand as the DA’s mayoral candidate for Johannesburg was a rational decision based on my evaluation of the current state of our country.

I consider different options and then I make decisions that I believe will result in the best outcomes – and no outcome could be better for Johannesburg, and indeed the rest of the country, than a vote for the DA on August 3.

I am still left surprised and concerned by the decision made by so many of my fellow South Africans to continue supporting the ANC in the face of an unending list of evidence of the rot and decay that has set into this once great liberation movement. In my humble opinion, I believe that we should vote for a party that has the best track record in terms of service delivery, commitment to the values of the Constitution and its Bill of Rights, and whose leaders uphold strong moral values.

The DA is the only party that fulfils these vital criteria.

The DA-run City of Cape Town commits the majority of its budget to poor communities, has a zero tolerance approach to corruption, and annually receives a clean audit report. It is commonly accepted as the best run metro in South Africa. This year Ratings Afrika gave the City of Cape Town a score of 75 out of 100 for its financial stability, the highest of all metros. By comparison, the ANC-run City of Johannesburg scored 37 out of 100.

The DA difference is not limited to Cape Town. An index compiled by Good Governance Africa earlier this year on the best and worst-run municipalities in South Africa saw nine of the top 10 municipalities being run by the DA. The 10 worst municipalities are all run by the ANC.

This begs the question as to why, in the face of such overwhelming evidence, some undecided voters are considering voting for parties that either have a poor track record or none whatsoever. Could it be the power of personalities in South Africa’s political landscape? Or does it simply come down to blind loyalty and the seductive allure of false promises?

The ANC voters I speak to acknowledge that the ANC has failed them. But, they say, the ANC is the liberation party of Nelson Mandela and we must continue to support it. 

But the truth is that the ANC is no longer that party and hasn’t been for a very long time. The long list of broken promises, corruption scandals, misuse of public money, and flagrant and arrogant abuse of the rule of law clearly demonstrate that the ANC is no longer Mandela’s liberation party and is only committed to self-interest, patronage and self-preservation, no matter the cost.

I would expect a president to be a person of high moral values and to display a firm commitment to the principles rooted in the Constitution.

Instead we have a man who sleeps with his friend’s daughter, is unfaithful to his wives, spends public money dodging 783 criminal cases against him, wastes even more public money on his personal house, and allows for our country to be influenced by non-elected elements in return for money. And then, when confronted by this damning evidence in Parliament, he simply laughs it off.

Zuma is a broken, amoral man leading the broken ANC that has lost its way.

Millions of South Africans have no respect for this man. Indeed, millions of ANC supporters have no respect for this man. I believe that it is time for all peace-loving, honest and progressive South Africans who continue voting for the ANC to deeply reflect on their decision to support the ANC. This is something I myself had to do. It was not easy, but it was necessary.

Under Zuma, the ANC has led this country to its worst unemployment rates yet, has crippled most of our economy, scared away investment, wasted billions of rand on themselves, failed to deliver on basic service delivery promises time and time again, and left our state-owned enterprises like the Post Office, Eskom, SABC and SAA in a complete mess. Rationally thinking, this is not the party to lead South Africa forward. This is not the party that will realise the vision of Mandela for a prosperous, non-racial, free and fair South Africa.

I encourage all voters to think carefully about what I am saying. This is a time for introspection. It is time to imagine the future you desire for yourselves and our country that we all love so much.

I hope that in doing so you come to the realisation that the right thing to do is stop voting for the ANC and its self-serving, amoral president.

I implore you to stop turning a blind eye to the ANC’s atrocities. I have reported eight cases of human rights violations by the ANC-led City of Johannesburg to the SAHRC, which has acknowledged the severity of these abuses. It is time to acknowledge them and speak out against them. No party in this country deserves blind loyalty. That is not what democracy is about, and it is not the freedom that so many fought and died for.

The people who are the victims of the City of Johannesburg’s violations are the residents of Alexandra, Princess, Diepsloot, downtown Johannesburg, and Kwa Mai Mai – poor black people suffering at the hands of an ANC government.

We see the same silence around the disgusting conduct of Hlaudi Motsoeneng, who has hijacked our public broadcaster and uses it as a praise-singing instrument of the ANC. 

I challenge everyone who has voted ANC, who intends to vote ANC, and who has remained silent on the abuses suffered by this country and its people under the ANC: think deeply and reflect on the significance of your vote on 3 August. DM

Mashaba is DA mayoral candidate for Johannesburg.

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