Zuma quibbles while Tshwane burns – DA takes aim at president’s silence
The Democratic Alliance’s (DA) mayoral pick for Tshwane on Wednesday dared his African National Congress (ANC) counterpart‚ Thoko Didiza‚ to break cover following the violence that has wracked the city this week.
Solly Msimanga also challenged President Jacob Zuma “to come out of hiding” after the widespread looting‚ arson and mob attacks in Tshwane’s townships since Monday‚ when Didiza was named ahead of the region’s choices of either incumbent Kgosientso Ramokgopa or his deputy Mapiti Matsena for the post.
“As Tshwane enters another day of violence and volatility fuelled by the ANC’s internal ‘civil war’‚ the big question remains: where are Thoko Didiza and Jacob Zuma while the capital burns?” asked the DA’s Msimanga.
“It is a sign of an imposed mayoral candidate that Thoko Didiza has been nowhere to be seen while ANC violence brings Tshwane to its knees. Didiza’s first action as mayoral candidate was to go into hiding.”
He took aim at ANC leaders’ attempts in the media to distance the ruling party from the protests‚ saying: “The violence in Tshwane is undeniably political in nature‚ but the ANC refuses to accept responsibility for the actions of its members.
“Yesterday‚ the ANC went to great lengths to attempt to dismiss the severity of the violent protests and tried to paint them as opportunistic criminality and thuggery.”
Msimanga continued: “The president‚ and leader of the ANC‚ is yet to make a public statement condemning the violence or even to call for calm. “While the capital burnt‚ Zuma instead chose to host a comfortable summit‚” he added‚ making reference to the president’s engagement with the Presidential Labour Working Group at the Union Buildings on Tuesday.
Msimanga said he had called on ANC secretary-general “Gwede Mantahse to intervene‚ but instead the ANC has chosen scapegoating and blame-shifting over honesty and accountability”. “This shows total disregard for the clear message from ANC supporters leading the protest: the ANC in Tshwane will not accept the imposition of Thoko Didiza
“If Thoko Didiza wants to retain any semblance of leadership‚ she must come out of hiding and address the Tshwane ANC violence immediately. President Zuma must also step up and take responsibility for the violence he has caused. “We cannot allow the lives of the people of Tshwane to be jeopardised by factionalism within the ANC.”