The following speech was delivered today by DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane, in Parliament, Cape Town:
On behalf of the Democratic Alliance I would like to extend our heartfelt congratulations to the new President of the Republic of South Africa, Honourable Cyril Ramaphosa.
While the circumstances of his election were far from ideal for our country, Honourable Ramaphosa now has an opportunity to close the Zuma chapter and begin charting a new course.
We wish him well in his new job. And I would like to assure him that he can count on our support and cooperation as long as he acts in the best interest of the people of South Africa.
I have heard many people say, with much relief, that we can now finally shift our focus from the ANC’s problems to the country’s problems.
And I agree, we cannot waste any time in attending to the massive challenges faced by our people every day.
But this statement misses one crucial fact, and that is that the ANC is our country’s biggest problem.
All along, we didn’t have a Zuma problem. We didn’t even have a Gupta problem.
Our problem is that the ANC put Zuma in power and the ANC kept Zuma in power, knowing full well what was going on.
And our problem is that same ANC is still here in this House today.
I see all the Members in the ANC benches are celebrating today, as if they had nothing to do with Jacob Zuma.
The biggest Jacob Zuma supporters have changed their tune overnight.
Right now South Africa is riding a wave of relief. Our country is celebrating the end of the worst era in our democracy. And many people have pinned their hope on you.
Many people think you have a simple task.
You just throw out the corrupt ones and replace them with good ones, and the rest will take care of itself.
I know this is not the case. I only have to look around you to know what you’re up against.
The corrupt system that allowed Jacob Zuma to survive motion after motion in this House while selling off our country has gone nowhere.
It’s still here, in these benches.
He may be known for his lies and deceit over the years, but Jacob Zuma told one uncomfortable truth in his rambling TV interview yesterday.
He said that no one in the ANC could tell him what he did wrong.
Why is that? Everyone knows what he did wrong. Why could no one from the ANC come out and say this?
I can think of only two reasons:
Either the ANC genuinely believes Jacob Zuma did nothing wrong, and that it’s simply now someone else’s turn to eat.
Or, the ANC can’t admit what Jacob Zuma did wrong, because doing so would implicate the party and all of you.
This is the ANC you have inherited. This is the ANC you have been part of for years. And this is our country’s biggest problem.
That is why we have moved a motion in terms of Section 50 of the Constitution, to dissolve parliament and call an early election.
South Africa’s Jacob Zuma problem is gone, but its ANC problem is still very much here. That is why we need a new election as soon as possible.
Voters must have the chance to punish the ANC for what it has done for the last 10 years.
In that election, Mr President, and in all of those to follow, let us have a proper debate about ideas for a better future of our country, and how to get us there.
In that contest of ideas about the future, we look forward to taking you on toe to toe in this House.