Mmusi Maimane, leader of the opposition, has today called on all South Africans to “take their destiny into their own hands, and stop Jacob Zuma before he destroys what is left of our democracy and our economy.”
In a special Bokamoso edition this morning, and in the video below, the DA leader stressed that “when I say South Africans, I don’t just mean DA supporters. I mean each and every South African who cares about this nation.
“This includes all the good people within the ANC who perhaps feel they cannot stand up to Jacob Zuma. This man is using you to enrich himself.
“Now, more than ever, we need people to unite for a common cause and against a common enemy.”
Mmusi pointed out how “shocking and upsetting” this week’s events have been with South African president Zuma’s “reckless and irrational decision” to fire Nhlanhla Nene as Finance Minister already having drastic effects – the Rand plummeting to a record low, banks losing billions on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and SA likely to be downgraded to “junk status”.
Mmusi announced the DA has convened a March for Change on 27 January 2016, in the centre of Johannesburg. The march is intended to stand in solidarity with the poor and unemployed “who are suffering as a result of no economic leadership”.
Many South Africans are already planning to march on Wednesday 16 December, the Day of Reconciliation, which is a public holiday in SA. (See details below.)
The DA leader said next year’s election will present an opportunity to show Zuma’s ANC (nicknamed the ZANC by many) that South Africa is ready for change.
South Africans can register to vote in the municipal elections on 5 and 6 February 2016.
Mmusi said “our country has achieved far too much to allow one man and his dishonest government to destroy our future. In January, let’s stand together and start bringing change to South Africa.
“For this to happen, millions of us must unite. It’s time for change.”
He pointed out that SA’s transition from apartheid to democracy was achieved through the democratic right to vote and “that is our most powerful weapon as citizens and it is now time that we use it to great effect.” (The Institute for Security Studies reported last year that national voting figures showed a steady “decline in participation from 86 % in 1994…to 57 % in the 2014 elections”.)
He said Zuma falling isn’t enough because “the rot of cronyism and patronage runs too deep in the ANC” and – predictably – urged people to join the DA and said it’s time to vote for change and new leadership.
During the last week many social media commenters have expressed their desire for a “dream team” that includes Mmusi as president, public protector Thuli Madonsela as vice-president and Trevor Manuel as financial minister.
But not all are convinced that the DA should rule, as can be seen in the video below, in which South African voter Sabelo Mabida (25) from Durban, reads an open letter to the DA summing up what he believes many black voters around the country feel – “#ANCMustFall But we’re #NotVotingDA.” (The video was made last month just after the DA proudly announced it had reached 200,000 followers on facebook.)
Sabelo, who is currently taking a break from his studies because he can’t afford the university fees, told SAPeople that he believes the “solution is for all South Africans to stand together and hold government accountable – no political parties can save us at this stage”.
Although he criticises Mmusi in the video, Sabelo says he edited out a sentence in which he said ‘it’s not you we have a problem with Mmusi; it’s your white bosses who pay your salary’. I think Mmusi would be a wonderful president, it’s not him I don’t trust – it’s his bosses!”
Although the DA didn’t respond to SAPeople’s requests for a comment on the video, Mmusi appears to be aware of this sentiment. In today’s message he says: “Forget about all the anti-DA spin and propaganda, and come and speak to us about how to save our country. You will find we have far more in common than you think.
“Now, more than ever, we need people to unite for a common cause and against a common enemy. That cause is a fair and prosperous South Africa, and that enemy is Jacob Zuma.”
Yesterday the Presidency issued a statement in an attempt to set the record straight on various “malicious rumours”.
#ZumaMustFall Petitions and Marches
Amidst rumours SABC radio staff have been warned not to mention “#ZumaMustFall” on air, a plethora of petitions and plans for marches have risen from South Africa this week.
Here are the latest…
- Change.org – over 132,000 signatures
- Petition24.com – over 24,000 signatures
- Avaaz.org – over 9,000 signatures
16 December 2015
- Cape Town: Hosted by Unite Against Corruption. Cape Town Gardens. 10am.
- Joburg: No Reconciliation with Corruption, hosted by Unite Against Corruption – link arms on the Nelson Mandela Bridge. 10am.
- Port Elizabeth: Govan Mbeki Avenue. 10am.
- Port Elizabeth: Nelson Mandela Bay. Midday.
- Pretoria: Union Buildings. 10am.
- South Africa: no venue announced yet. Midday.
27 January 2015
- Joburg: March for Change, hosted by the DA.
Dates to be Announced
Nationwide: More formal #ZumaMustFall marches are planned countrywide which will be formally registered and without political affiliation. Further details to be announced tomorrow, Monday 14 December.
Overseas: Several South Africans abroad have asked about overseas demonstrations. So far none have been announced. Many South Africans have however asked expats to make the journey to SA to vote in the municipal elections which will probably take place in May.