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Beware of ‘fake revolutionaries’, DA leader Mmusi Maimane warns

16 December 2018 - 13:19 By TimesLIVE
DA leader Mmusi Maimane said people should not be fooled by populists who preyed on vulnerable people’s desperation.
DA leader Mmusi Maimane said people should not be fooled by populists who preyed on vulnerable people’s desperation.

SA’s political landscape is full of fake revolutionaries who merely pretend to care about poverty and disempowerment, DA leader Mmusi Maimane said on Sunday.

“Dishonest politicians who exploit the real frustrations and hardships of people for their own power and wealth,” he told a Day of Reconciliation event in Eldorado Park in the south of Johannesburg.

“They create the illusion that they stand on the side of the poor. Some of them will even go as far as wearing the overalls of the working class or the uniforms of domestic workers as part of this illusion, but these are just props and costumes for their act, Maimane stated, adding that both the ANC and the EFF fell into this category.

“There’s a word for such people. We call them populists, and they prey on vulnerable people’s desperation. They make promises that sound too good to be true, because they are too good to be true. They have no intention of ever fulfilling these promises.

“They will say whatever they think people want to hear in order to get their votes. They will use language and names that sound progressive, while robbing their own people blind.”

These politicians spoke of radical economic transformation, while they really meant “radical wealth accumulation”, Maimane added.

“They speak of black economic empowerment, while they really mean ANC crony enrichment.

“And they speak of land reform and land restitution, while they really mean state control and ownership of all land, including the land owned by poor South Africans,” the DA leader said.

He said land was a very important and emotive issue in SA and rightly so. For centuries, the majority of the country’s people had been denied the right to not only live where they wanted to live, but to own their own land, and to pass this land on to their children.

Justice and redress demanded that this be corrected and that it be done quickly.

“When done right, this is something that will build a stronger, united SA. A SA where more people have access to the economy and where more people can build their own wealth.

“But in the hands of the populists, it simply becomes a tool for dividing people and whipping up anger. When both the EFF and ANC talk about land reform, their only goal is to create a divide — an enemy — and then exploit the issue for votes.

“They don’t want South Africans to own their own land. They don’t want you to be able to grow an investment, access capital or pass this on to your children. They want you to live at the mercy of the state — forever a tenant,” Maimane asserted.