Tag Archives: Maimane

South Africa – W Cape Assembly to debate Premier Zille’s colonialism comment


Date set for Zille legislature snap debate


Helen Zille. (File)

Helen Zille. (File)

Cape Town – The Western Cape legislature speaker has approved the ANC’s request for a snap debate on Premier Helen Zille’s views on colonialism.

The debate will be held next week Tuesday March 28 at 14:15 and will take precedence over the usual programme for the provincial legislature, in Wale Street, provincial government spokesperson Matthys Odendal said on Wednesday.

“The Speaker deemed this request to be of sufficient public importance to warrant a debate over and above the normal parliamentary programme,” he said.

ANC acting provincial chairperson and leader of the opposition in the legislature, Khaya Magaxa, wrote to Speaker Sharna Fernandez to ask for the urgent debate after Zille tweeted last week that not all aspects of colonialism were bad.

In an article she wrote for the Daily Maverick, Zille explained that the comments were in the context of a business trip to Singapore which had got her thinking about that country’s post-colonialism recovery.

What set her off was not being able to find the TV remote at OR Tambo International Airport’s protocol lounge while waiting for her flight to Cape Town, and a battle to find milk for her tea, given the apparent high standards of Singapore.

When the Twitter backlash started, she tweeted: “Getting onto an aeroplane now and won’t get onto the Wi-Fi so that I can cut off those who think EVERY aspect of colonial legacy was bad.”

DA leader Mmusi Maimane quickly tweeted:

“Let’s make this clear: Colonialism, like Apartheid, was a system of oppression and subjugation. It can never be justified.”

— Mmusi Maimane (@MmusiMaimane) March 16, 2017

Zille apologised for offence the tweet may have caused, but it was enough for the party to institute the first stages of possible disciplinary procedures.

On Saturday afternoon, the party will interview her and send a report to its federal executive, which will recommend whether a disciplinary panel should take it further.

The ANC welcomed Fernandez’s decision because it believed the DA turned a blind eye to what Zille did.

The ANC believed that if the DA continued protecting Zille, the party would be brought down.

South Africa – what can Maimane do about Zille?


2017-03-19 06:08

Mmusi Maimane

Mmusi Maimane

2017-03-17 21:56

Helen Zille has faced a backlash from Twitter users following her latest posts which appeared to argue for, in her opinion, the positive aspects of colonialism. This is not the first time the Western Cape Premier has been controversial on social media. Watch.

So, here is some wisdom from some of the world’s most famous racists.

The first quote is from US right-winger James Buchanan, who is the intellectual version of the Ku Klux Klan’s David Duke.

“European colonialism was not an entirely negative phenomenon for the Third World areas that were occupied.

“Most of the Third World was run by brutal chieftains, sultans and kings, who did little to improve life for their subjects. Colonialism brought roads, railways, bridges, medicine, long-range trade and Christianity to backward Third World nations.

“Naturally, the European powers benefited most from colonialism, but the natives’ lives were often improved,” Buchanan wrote.

Then there is our very own Steve Hofmeyr, the most openly racist South African.

“You must appeal to base sentiment as Africa has yet to yield a single intellectual, a single thought school, a single intellectual thought not inspired by the very West you and [President Robert] Mugabe detest,” he said in an open letter to then ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema a few years ago.

There is Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, who is part of the third generation of a right wing French political family.

Responding to growing calls in Algeria for France’s brutal and murderous colonial rule to be declared a crime against humanity, the 27-year-old MP and niece of presidential candidate Marine Le Pen was caustically dismissive.

She tweeted: “If the French colonisation of Algeria is a crime, then why do many Algerians dream of coming to France?”

Clearly inspired by these intellectual heavyweights, Western Cape Premier Helen Zille this week decided to add her voice to the historical revisionism around colonialism in a series of unhinged tweets.

She tweeted: “For those claiming legacy of colonialism was ONLY negative, think of our independent judiciary, transport infrastructure, piped water etc.”

She continued to ask if there would have been “a transition into specialised healthcare and medication without colonial influence…” and even added “just be honest, please”.

It was instructive that the first figure to come to her defence – after the whole country, including her party, had slated her – was the openly racist Hofmeyr.

“Could someone, ANYONE, prove @helenzille wrong before crucifying, trampling and feeding her to the dogs?” Hofmeyr tweeted.

It was also interesting that, in feigning contrition, Zille turned to the form book of those who hurt others with prejudiced comments.

“I apologise unreservedly for a tweet that may have come across as a defence of colonialism. It was not,” she said, in something that sounded much like Penny Sparrow’s, “I wish to make a public apology for my thoughtless behaviour. I have hurt the feelings of my fellow South Africans.”

Or that of Zimbabwean cricketer Mark Vermeulen, who, after calling black people apes, said: “I know my comments were over the top and I apologise to all that I have offended.”

The thing with Zille’s apology is that, as with all the other empty withdrawals of racist outbursts, it is meaningless.

The victims may forgive and move on, but it does not take away the fact that the sentiment was expressed.

When she typed those tweets – regardless of her state of mind – she was expressing her beliefs.

These were beliefs that she had successfully concealed during her years of student activism, courageous journalistic career, involvement in civil society formations and her participation in the Convention for a Democratic SA, as well as her years in academia and in her formal political life.

It is pointless to call for politicians to “do the right thing” when faced with scandal and controversy.

So it would be naive to expect Zille to voluntarily do what her party asked of many ANC politicians during her time as a senior member and later as leader of the DA.

Although she has said things that violate the spirit of our Constitution and fly against South Africa’s quest for social cohesion and harmonious nationhood, she is unlikely to accept that her personal prejudiced views are in conflict with the office she occupies.

Zille will leave it up to the DA leadership to “do the right thing” about her.

As long as Zille remains ensconced in her Wale Street office running the affairs of the Western Cape government on a DA mandate, the party will be in a deeply compromised position.

All the epithets that have been thrown at it will stick to it like the toothbrush moustaches under the noses of Hitler and Mugabe.

It goes without saying that Zille has presented party leader Mmusi Maimane with the biggest headache since he took over two years ago. But she has also presented him with an opportunity to emerge from her shadow.

Since he entered politics in 2011, Maimane has been characterised as Zille’s protégé.

Even as he asserted his authority in the party, he battled to shake off this patronising view of him.

Even after delivering a significant milestone as a leader after last year’s elections – Tony Leon delivered the official opposition status and Zille won the Western Cape and Cape Town – his critics still insisted that he wasn’t his own man.

This week, in the weirdest of ironies, the person who is said to be his mentor and sponsor has given him the opportunity to prove his mettle by chopping off her head.

He now has to show he has cojones.

And big ones at that.

South Africa – election commission holds fire over ANC covert campaign funds

BD Live

IEC opts to hold fire on alleged ANC unit

An Election Commission worker tears a ballot paper at a voting station during local municipal elections. Picture: EPA/KEVIN SUTHERLAND
An Election Commission worker tears a ballot paper at a voting station during local municipal elections. Picture: EPA/KEVIN SUTHERLAND

The Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) is taking a wait-and-see approach in determining whether the ANC has violated the electoral code of conduct.

Allegations surfaced in court papers this week that the party had planned to spend R50m on a covert campaign targeting opposition parties such as the DA and EFF during the August local government elections.

The IEC said on Wednesday it had noted that the ANC had “strongly denied” the allegations. “These claims are contained in sworn affidavits which form part of an active civil court case and the commission believes this legal process should be allowed to be concluded and that it would be premature to comment on such allegations.”

Should the circumstances require it to take further action it would “not hesitate” to do so, the commission said.

Public Relations consultant Sihle Bolani approached the High Court in Johannesburg on Tuesday with an urgent application to claim money she said was owed to her by the ANC for work she had done for a “black-ops” unit. The court, however, decided the case was not urgent and struck it off the roll.

ANC activist Shaka Sisulu, the grandson of ANC stalwart Walter Sisulu, has been named as one of the alleged figures at the centre of the unit.

Sisulu denied this, but admitted to working with Bolani as part of a media team. He denied there was a covert unit in the ANC. “I neither possess the skill nor the knowledge of what a ‘black-ops’ operation is.”

ANC spokesman Zizi Kodwa on Tuesday said the party was prepared to “prove on merit” in court that Bolani had not done any work for it.

South Africa – DA to lay criminal charges against Brian Molefe

BD Live

Brian Molefe and Lynne Brown. Picture: TREVOR SAMSON
Brian Molefe and Lynne Brown. Picture: TREVOR SAMSON

The DA will on Thursday lay criminal charges against Eskom CEO Brian Molefe in Cape Town.

This comes two days after the party’s leader‚ Mmusi Maimane‚ laid corruption charges against President Jacob Zuma‚ on the basis of former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s State of Capture report‚ which made a number of observations about the relationship between the president and the Gupta family.

The DA’s Natasha Mazzone said the charges against Molefe would be under the “Public Finance Management Act; Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act; and the Powers‚ Privileges and Immunities of Parliaments and Provincial Legislatures Act”.

“We cannot stand by as those in positions of power are allowed to abuse state institutions for their own selfish gain and to the detriment of South Africans‚” she said in a statement.

“It is now time that he is brought to book and these charges are a step towards ensuring that this happens.”

Molefe recently resigned from Eskom in the interests of good corporate governance‚ but said his resignation was not an admission of wrongdoing on his part.

He had‚ at an earlier Eskom briefing‚ become emotional and appeared to break down in tears while trying to explain his movements in Saxonwold‚ the Johannesburg suburb where the Gupta family resides.

On Wednesday‚ BusinessLIVE reported that Mark Pamensky‚ the Eskom director most directly linked to the Gupta family‚ had resigned from the board.

Pamensky‚ who is also a director of telecoms company Blue Label as well as of the Gupta-owned Oakbay Resources‚ was among those subpoenaed by Madonsela for her report.

Adding to Eskom’s woes is a call from the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) for the “resignation of the entire board and divisional executives who are all implicated in the many serious allegations against Eskom in the former public protector’s report”.

The allegations in that report “are sufficiently serious to make it impossible for Molefe and the Eskom board to continue with business as usual and they must stand down”‚ Numsa general-secretary Irvin Jim said.

TMG Digital

South Africa – row over secret voting bid on Zuma no confidence motion


Mmusi Maimane. Picture: DA
Mmusi Maimane. Picture: DA

THE much-anticipated debate on the motion of no-confidence in President Jacob Zuma got off to a rowdy start in Parliament on Thursday as opposition MPs called for a secret ballot.

EFF MPs argued that a secret ballot would protect ANC MPs from having to toe the party line when the motion was put to vote. Deputy Speaker Lechesa Tsenoli dismissed the EFF’s suggestion, saying there was no provision for a secret ballot.

In an unusual move, it emerged that the DA had sent letters to ANC MPs in the house to lobby them to vote in favour of the motion.

“The DA is sending letters to all members of the ANC asking them to vote in a certain way in the debate,” ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu said.

DA chief whip John Steenhuisen seemed to confirm that the party had sent out the letters. “Point to the rule where it says it’s unparliamentary to receive letters. I received a nasty letter from (Trade and Industry) Minister (Rob) Davies … and you don’t see me being a cry baby,” said Steenhuisen.

The no-confidence debate was called by the DA last week following the release of former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s State of Capture report in which she recommended that the president establish a commission of inquiry into allegations of state capture by the influential Gupta family.

Opening the debate, DA leader Mmusi Maimane said the vote presented MPs with a choice between Zuma and SA.

“I know that there are men and women in these ANC benches who want to do the right thing today. If you allow yourselves to be guided by your conscience and your duty to your country, we can achieve something great in this house.

“I am asking you to take South Africa’s side today, to put your country first.Whatever you choose, history will remember you for that choice,” said Maimane amid heckling from the ANC members.

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa said many South Africans have lost confidence in “an irreparably damaged leader (Zuma)”.

Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane said the DA’s motion was a desperate attempt by the opposition party and its allies to “undermine the will of the people… in a quest … to gain power by other means other than the ballot.”

“The ANC accepted the will of the people and to date the DA and allies are presiding over some municipalities that were led by ANC.… They are trying hard to distract the ANC and government led by President Zuma from dealing with poverty, unemployment, and inequality,” said Mokonyane.

MPs were due to vote on the motion later on Thursday. Previous motions of no-confidence brought by the opposition have been stifled by the ANC, which enjoys a majority in Parliament with 249 of the 400 National Assembly seats.

Earlier in the week ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said a motion of no-confidence against Zuma “has no chance of succeeding”.

South Africa – ANC governs as if black lives do not matter, says DA’s Maimane

BD Live

ANC governs as if black lives do not matter, says Maimane

BY KARL GERNETZKY,  30 JULY 2016, 14:07
Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane, centre, and Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille wave to the crowd at a campaign rally in Johannesburg. Picture: AFP

Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane, centre, and Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille wave to the crowd at a campaign rally on Saturday in Johannesburg. Picture: AFP

THE African National Congress (ANC) has turned its back on South Africa and under its leadership governs as if black lives do not matter, Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane said on Saturday.

Addressing around 20,000 blue-clad DA members at the Dobsonville stadium in Soweto, Maimane appealed for change, as he delivered the final pitch from SA’s largest opposition party before millions of South Africans head to the polls on Wednesday.

After numerous acts of entertainment, including a brass marching band and motorcycle parade, Maimane laid into the ANC and President Jacob Zuma, saying South Africans had been “betrayed

by the ANC. In 1994 voting for any party other than the ANC would be “unthinkable”.

“I could not image that the party of Nelson Mandela could one day abandon its values and abandon the people,” Maimane said.

READ THIS: Thousands converge for the DA final rally

“That day came in December 2007 when Jacob Zuma was elected President of the ANC in Polokwane. “Under Jacob Zuma the ANC has kept black people under poverty while its leaders get richer”.

South Africa’s political parties are wrapping up weeks of frantic campaigning, with rallies this weekend representing a final push for votes before campaigning stops ahead of the polls.

The ANC and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) will hold their own final campaign rallies on Saturday, with the ruling party selecting Gauteng and the EFF Limpopo.

The party believes four metros are up for grabs, including the City of Tshwane, City of Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni and Nelson Mandela Bay in the Eastern Cape.

The latest poll by eNCA and polling consultant Ipsos indicated the DA will get 35.81% of the vote in Johannesburg, compared to the ANC’s 32.28%. The survey also shows the DA capturing 40% of vote in Tshwane — 14.5% more than the ANC.

In Nelson Mandela Bay, 43.57% of survey respondents were behind the DA, compared to the ANC’s 29.51% and EFF figures of between 1.4% and 5.94%. The undecided vote ranging between 11.46% and 12.62%.

The ANC has dismissed the figures, and the DA has adopted a cautious stance towards them. The party has indicated its own polls show the metros are in play, but that its sole focus is encouraging supporters to turnout on the day.

DA national spokeswoman Phumzile van Damme said on Saturday the DA represented an opportunity to galvanise service delivery and job creation.

“The ANC has had many opportunities to govern SA better, while they started off well progress has stalled. It is time for them to be booted out,” she said.

The ANC has however rolled out extensive campaigning in Tshwane, which was rocked by violent protest after a decision to put forth Thoko Didiza as its mayoral candidate. Speaking on the side-lines of the rally, DA mayoral candidate for the metro Solly Msimanga said the ANC’s attempts to stoke racial divisions in its campaigning, and that it was campaigning with large numbers of men with guns separating them from voters, indicated how precarious its hold on the capital was.

“A party that is not relying on its track record on delivery but is spending a billion rand to campaign is a party that is not sure of the outcome, a party that is not sure that will get its numbers,” Msimanga said.

South Africa – why ANC still rules the roost

Mail and Guardian

The DA is completely out of touch with black voters, who are more likely to opt for the ANC or the Economic Freedom Fighters.

Loyal: Many people support the ANC because they believe it is the only political party that can rescue them from poverty. (Oupa Nkosi, M&G)

With the recent controversy that hit the finance ministry, the deplorable reaction to the #FeesMustFall movement by government, load-shedding, water shortages, alarming matric results and what appears to be general ongoing dissatisfaction among South Africans of all races, it is difficult not to wonder why the ANC still has such a strong support base.

The question “Why do people still vote for the ANC when they are so unhappy?” crops up often enough to send anyone, myself included, into a trance in an attempt to find answers.

I’ve spent a considerable amount of time in Marikana and greater Rustenburg because that’s the part of the country I call home. Although there has been a decline in the ANC’s support in the area, the party can still count on the support of many of the people who live there.

Considering the Marikana massacre of August 2012, one would assume that support for the governing party there would have dwindled – but that’s not the case and many people there still look to the ANC to rescue them from dire poverty.

My grandmother lives in Bethanie near Brits in the North West, a village that suffers from dirty tap water and other service delivery problems. When I asked her why she still supports the ANC, she said: “You could have easily become a domestic worker like me, but you went to school and you have a better life because of them.”

This reasoning is shared by many other South Africans. The ANC is the most acknowledged liberation movement in South Africa – and many South Africans, such as my grandmother and the people of Marikana, still see it as their saviour.

Attributing the end of apartheid to the ANC is the dominant narrative in post-apartheid discourse for many working- and middle-class black people, says activist and writer Simamkele Dlakavu – a narrative that ignores and erases the contribution of other liberation movements to the fall of apartheid.

This strategy, she says, played out when Nompendulo Mkatshwa, president of the students’ representative council at the University of the Witwatersrand, graced the cover of Destiny magazine in an ANC head wrap. #FeesMustFall is a challenge to the political and economic status quo administered by the ANC. Mkatshwa’s constructed image as the face of #FeesMustFall soothes and depoliticises a movement that is a direct challenge to ANC power and policy choices.

Representation matters because that is how power is exercised through different means of communication, and also how it is solidified and naturalised through repetition.

But even in the midst of what seems to be blind loyalty from ANC members, dissent does exist.

“We remain … disciplined members of the ANC but we will also raise our concerns, Bosa Ledwaba, an ANC member in Rustenburg, told me. “We love the ANC and we want it to be representative of us. Calling out the bad things in the party does not mean we are factionalists.”

Writer Simon Williamson says: “Half the problem with criticising [President Jacob] Zuma is the people that get in bed with your argument.” This statement extends to criticism of the ANC as well. There is a forceful anti-black and racist rhetoric that seems to rear its head every time people open their mouths about Zuma, the ANC and, in many cases, black people in general.

In response to the #ZumaMustFall campaign that began after the president fired Nhlanhla Nene as the finance minister, columnist and scholar Kelly-Jo Bluen wrote in Business Day: “White enthusiasm for #ZumaMustFall aligns with white South Africans’ love for uniting around causes that serve our narrow interests, while absolving ourselves of responsibility for SA’s sociopolitical and economic malaise.”

Our country is at a racial boiling point; it is impossible to imagine politics beyond race – and that is why the nonracial approach of the Democratic Alliance does not please many. With one racist incident after another, it would be silly to think that race is not a factor in how people vote – from Helen Zille’s ignorant tweets about black women’s hair and cultural appropriation to DA leader Mmusi Maimane always finding new ways to embarrass himself and the party by blaming everything under the sun on the ANC and Zuma.

The DA is completely out of touch with black voters, who are more likely to opt for the ANC or the Economic Freedom Fighters, which has gathered lots of support with its militant and radical approach.

Though race plays a pivotal role in voting patterns, gender politics will soon enter the mix. Will South Africans vote for a party whose women’s league has consistently maintained patriarchy by marching and defending their leader’s foibles instead of supporting the hundreds of women who are violated in this country every day? If the answer is no, then what is the alternative?