Police and IEC must intervene to end ‘ANC-orchestrated anarchy’ - Maimane
DA leader Mmusi Maimane on Sunday accused the ANC of a “malicious and calculated” attempt to render DA-run cities ungovernable in the lead-up to the election and called on police and the IEC to immediately intervene.
Addressing a media conference at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg, he charged that the “ANC-orchestrated anarchy” was aimed at shifting attention away from the ANC’s failure as national government over the past 25 years.
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“It appears that the likelihood of the party losing power in key parts of the country on May 8 has now firmly panicked the ANC, as it has now resorted to desperate and dangerous so-called ‘shutdown’ protests in DA-run governments spanning over the past two weeks. While these violent protests were intended to appear as organic and community-driven, it has become embarrassingly evident that the protests have been initiated and sustained by the ANC,” Maimane said.
Beginning in Alexandra, Johannesburg, on April 3, the “shutdowns” had spread to other DA-run governments, including other parts of Johannesburg, as well as areas in Tshwane and Cape Town and Caleden, also in the Western Cape, he said.
“There remain threats of further ‘shutdown’ protests, with the Johannesburg Inner City allegedly planned for tomorrow, Monday April 15 , as well as rumours of an impending Soweto shutdown later this week,” he added.
“This cheap, dangerous politicking is not being carried out by a few rogue elements in the ANC. It is the party’s election campaign strategy, endorsed and approved by President Cyril Ramaphosa himself. This is evidenced by his decision to go to Alex – the epicentre of these violent protests – to campaign in ANC colours, to publicly approve the shutdown and attempt to blame Mayor Herman Mashaba for the service delivery failures of the ANC over the past 25 years.
“At the very core of a democracy such as ours is the possibility of a peaceful transition of power from one party to another through the ballot box. It appears the ANC is not willing to allow this to happen, stooping to new lows in an attempt to maintain their grip on power,” Maimane said.
He said the reality was that millions of South Africans lived in communities that had seen little or no change since the dawn of democracy. “Our painful history still lives with us and after 25 years of ANC rule, many South Africans live without basic services. This is because the ANC government is one of self-enrichment rather than building infrastructure in poor communities.”
Maimane said he would again approach national police commissioner General Khehla Sitole for an urgent face-to-face meeting in the next 48 hours to establish what plans were in place to put an end to this violence and to restore law and order in these communities.
He would also request to meet with the IEC chairperson, Mr Glen Mashinini to seek an update on a complaint filed earlier by the party and “if required, request the investigation to be fast-tracked to ensure we get to the bottom of this threat well before election day” as well as seek reassurance that the elections would go ahead on May 8.
“Finally, we believe Parliament has a vital role to play in getting to the bottom of this orchestrated anarchy. As such, we will write to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, requesting the urgent establishment of an ad hoc joint committee consisting of the portfolio committees on police, cooperative governance and traditional affairs, and home affairs to use its legislative power to consider this matter in its entirety.”