Zille takes fight to Malema's home
DA leader Helen Zille says her party would win the election in Julius Malema's home town were voters in the area not fearful of the ANCYL president.
Addressing about 40 people in Seshego's Mohlakaneng informal settlement this week, Zille said local residents were fed up with the ANC-led council, but were too "nervous" to take to the streets in support of her party. Seshego, the largest township in Polokwane, Limpopo, is home to Malema, who spent much of this week in court defending his singing of a controversial struggle song.
During her visit, Zille slammed the youth league leader for neglecting the poor community and said her party had been approached by many residents who were unhappy with the ANC.
"When I came here today, I saw the people are frightened, because their worry is what is going to happen to them if they stand up. I do not blame them, because this is where Malema comes from. He tries to divide the people. There is nothing to be frightened of, because we will fight for your rights," she said.
Zille then contrasted Malema's notoriously lavish lifestyle to the high levels of poverty in the area not far from his home.
"The key message about Julius Malema is that he is completely out of touch with his own people. He spends the night drinking Blue Label whisky, going to sushi parties, getting major tenders and contracts which don't deliver services. But he has contempt for his voters because he thinks he can just sing a few struggle songs and mobilise people on race and they'll keep on voting for him.
"In this particular community, there are two taps for 2500 shacks, which probably means two taps for 10000 people. And this kind of settlement tells us why Limpopo is the worst province for service delivery."
But as Zille was being shown around, local resident Philemon Sebjeng objected when DA supporters complained that municipal services were non-existent, pointing to garbage dumped in one yard.
"Sometimes you must be fair. The government cannot be held responsible for the rubbish in my yard. This is my responsibility. The people must take care of themselves. Take the rubbish to the street, and then it becomes the municipality's responsibility," Sebjeng said before being told he was disrupting a DA event.
But Zille pointed out many other defects, which she blamed on the ANC-run council.
She said many of the problems experienced by residents of Mohlakaneng were symptomatic of the gross corruption in the province, which led to Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan taking away R261-million from the Limpopo government.
"You are getting the worst services in South Africa. Also, Limpopo is one of the most corrupt provinces in SA. It is rotten until further notice. This money could have been used to deliver water and other services," she said.
"But you will see the ANC before the elections, I promise you, because that is the only time they will come to you and tell you lies. They are going to say, 'If you vote for the DA, you are going to lose your pension or your grant.'
"They can't tell you that you are going to lose your houses, because you don't have any from the ANC. That is rubbish."