Greetings: Chairperson, Ladies and Gentlemen
Thank you very much for sharing this platform with me today. The electioneering season has begun and all of us are on the streets, to once again connect with the electorate.
Chairperson, the United Democratic Movement in its 5th National Congress held in December 2015, amongst others; declared corruption as a national threat to sustainable development of the country and its citizens as it directly affects good governance and economic growth negatively.
You will also recall that since its inception, the UDM has always been batting on a wicket of anti-corruption and good governance. We remain committed to this both in words and actions.
I mention these two points because, today our country finds it difficult to be described fully without mentioning the word corruption. Centrally to this is that the country is led by a party in implosion.
Its internal implosion has left the country sneezing and the state institutions in a state of paralysis. Leadership of these institutions are a product of a disastrous cadre deployment policy and by design, they are inherently part of the fighting factions within the party. Naturally, they will abuse their positions within these state institutions to defeat the other factions.
At the helm of all these shenanigans is a President who has become an untouchable, even those close to him are apparently unable to apply breaks on him. So the country is stuck with this monstrous individual who has no regard for the rule of law.
Those who are still placing their future in the ruling party, they can only wait for their national conference at the end of 2017, hoping that some new medicine will come. However, this hope is very much un-realistic given the fact that, Mr Zuma and his marshals are the same medicine in differently shaped bottles.
He has successfully mustered his plan to render every senior member of the ruling party in parliament dormant through patronage, and as a result, it is impossible to differentiate between his NEC and the cabinet.
There is therefore no possibility for any of the senior members of the ruling party within their NEC to question him on his escapades.
The ruling party’s internal fight has now taken a very dangerous shift from a political symposium of ideas to the terrain of the former military operatives of the ANC armed wing.
Mr. Zuma is now pitting junior former MK members against their former senior colleagues in the MK. He has activated a battalion of the former junior MK operatives in defence of his Nkandla scandal and his family friends, the Guptas, whilst the former senior leaders of Operation Vula, like Pravin Gordhan, are on the opposite side of the battle field.
To exacerbate the chaotic situation, there is another group that is characterised by former senior leaders of the party, who are yearning for the ANC to return back to its original values, unfortunately they are on the periphery of the formal structures of the party.
They will simply be locked-out in the cold with absolutely no say or influence. This is well expressed in how the ANC marshals are behaving in parliament. These marshals are the voting cattle in the coming national conference of their party and will therefore dictate the direction of the party which will directly affect the future of the country.
It is not absurd to think of a possibility, where some, within the ruling party, who still harbour the original values and principles of the party, would consider pursuing the same principles and agenda outside of the currently exploding party.
Notwithstanding all these, the country still has to move forward. It is in this regard, that our conference made the commitment to continue fighting against corruption and mobilise society behind the banner of good governance. We are happy that many other opposition parties and society in general are resonating with this noble campaign.
The positive side of this crisis, is that political parties and citizens are presented with an opportunity to think deeply about whether it is not time to take a different route in defending the gains of our freedom.
The fourth local government elections are a fertile platform to discharge this responsibility. The parties must provide concrete alternative and the electorate must not shy away from denouncing the failures of the ruling party through a ballot paper.
The electorate has more than enough to understand why they should liberate themselves from the ruling party. There is no minute passing without scandals of looting public purse by the ruling elite.
Their immorality has now directed their hands to the pension funds of the government employees in the Public Investment Corporation. Once again, major beneficiaries have links with the president of the country, like the Sakh’umnotho transaction amounting to no less than R1.5bn.
The funding of the independent newspapers in which the Guptas are in court fighting for their 20% stake is in the public domain for electorates to see.
The alleged payment of the ANC birthday bash and staff salaries using pensions of government employees is a subject of investigation by the office of the Public Protector.
The opposition parties have tried their bit in parliament, in courts including the Constitutional Court, however, the numerical arrogance of the ruling party, and the used of state security apparatus has been a new weapon to silence different views.
In conclusion, while the ruling party is imploding and Mr. Zuma remaining intransigent, the country is in a state of anarchy, because it is not their priority but their bottom less pockets.
I thank you.