DA will make an impact -Maimane
SOWETO – South Africa’s opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA) says the country should expect an economic revolution if it emerges victorious after the elections scheduled for Wednesday.
Addressing thousands of supporters at the Dobsonville stadium in Soweto, DA leader Mmusi Maimane said his party will put an end to corruption which he said had negatively affected the country’s economic growth and infrastructure projects.
“We will put an end to the corruption that has ruined our country and betrayed our people. Any politician or official found guilty will go to jail for 15 years…Corrupt politicians should not be brought to parliament but to jail,” he said.
He called on undecided voters to punish the ANC and wake up to the reality of Cyril Ramaphosa’s “false dawn.”
Thousands of the party’s supporters gathered at the Dobsonville stadium as the party hosted its final rally ahead of the elections. The party’s other main contenders are the ruling African National Congress (ANC) and Economic Freedom Fighters (EEF).
Speaking at the event dubbed Diphetogo Rally, party leader Maimane delivered a rousing speech with a clear message centred around ending corruption, creating jobs, improving health and service delivery and education standards.
Maimane said he didn’t expect voters’ loyalty for life, or for them to like the DA. But he asked voters to give the party a chance for five years to fulfill its election promises to the electorate.
“I want every home to have at least one job. That way all South Africans will have the dignity of an income, and there will be food on every table, every day…I’m only asking you to give change a chance. I’m asking you to lend us your vote for the next five years. That’s it. Five years at a time,” he said.
He said DA had grown from just 1,7 percent in 1994 to a party that governed four metros after the 2016 election, this he said has allowed them to touch the lives of millions of South Africans.
“Change requires us to leave behind everything we’ve become used to and step into a place we’ve never been before. It asks us to take the road less travelled…In choosing the DA, I don’t expect anyone’s loyalty for life. I am not even asking you to like the DA. I’m only asking you to give change a chance,” he said.
“When we reach the end of this period, judge us. See if we did the things we said we’d do. If so, then lend us your vote again for another five years. But if we didn’t – if it turns out we broke our promises to you – then fire us again,” Maimane said.
Maimane said voters had the power to change the country’s political direction on 8 May, but only if they used their vote correctly.
He said DA wants to create a better future for the next generation regardless of the political affiliation, religious beliefs or colour.
The trip to cover the DA rally was made possible by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, and the Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe.
Freidrich Naumann is a German foundation for liberal politics, related to the Free Democratic Party. Established in 1958 by Theodor Heuss, the first president of the Federal Republic of Germany, it promotes individual freedom and liberalism.
VMCZ is a professional media self-regulatory body set up in 2007 by Zimbabwean journalists and other stakeholders in civil society who subscribe to the principles of media freedom, accountability, independence, and ethical journalism.
Their mission is to promote a strong and ethical media with the ability to contribute to building a more democratic and just society within policy and legal environments that facilitate growth and development of independent, pluralistic, and free media.