Address of the UDM President, Mr Bantu Holomisa, MP at the Commemoration of Human Rights Day at Gxwalibomvu
Leadership of the United Democratic Movement in the Eastern Cape
The people from Gxwalibomvu
My fellow South Africans
THANK YOU AND WELCOME
Today we are welcomed in a part in of the Eastern Cape, where the ruling party brags, is one of its biggest – if not the biggest – ANC branches in the country. This is particularly significant because the UDM today welcomes hundreds of the ruling party’s members into our fold. I think that you must give yourselves a big applause.
Tomorrow, upon the invitation of the people of Sterkspruit, it will also be the UDM’s pleasure to welcome another few hundred of the ruling party’s members who have become disillusioned with a government that does not listen.
COMMEMORATING HUMAN RIGHTS DAY
After having shared some good news, it is with a sense of sadness that we gather on this day to reflect on the 1960 Sharpeville Massacre.
We have commemorated this day since the advent of democracy in 1994. However, in recent times, we find ourselves on a slippery slope of human rights abuses that we had hoped to never see again.
In the Apartheid years egregious human rights abuses were perpetrated as a matter of course. The abuses we have witnessed, on a daily basis, in the past few years is therefore an even greater travesty.
We look back on the murder of Andries Tatane.
We think of the countless incidents where our police services fired at communities who merely used their constitutional right to speak freely and to demonstrate.
We, in particular, think of the hurt and distress the people of Marikana had suffered, and are still made to suffer.
Instead of a government listening to the complaints of the people it sends the police, which has adopted a doctrine of: “shoot first, ask questions later”.
The incumbent leaders of government can no longer take the moral high ground that was occupied in the times of the late President Nelson Mandela.
MORE ABUSE OF POWER – NKANDLA
We listened in awe to what the Public Protector told the nation on Wednesday about what can only be described as a lodge which was built for President Zuma. The millions of Rands that was spent on Nkandla boggles the mind.
Yes we agree, a President is entitled to certain privileges, but does that include a tuck shop? Homes for his family and tunnels and kraals for cattle?
Do you think this is right in a country were far too many of our people live in abject poverty?
But of course the powers that be in the security cluster went to great lengths to convince the nation that these millions were only spent on “security upgrades”.
Advocate Madonsela told us that Mr Zuma’s personal architect had inflated the costs of his services. This raises the following question: why?
We are of the view that a forensic audit must be done to follow the paper trail to see what the monies paid over to Mr Minenhle Makhanya was used for. It might be possible that the fat that he added to his bill was diverted to cover the costs for the Zuma family’s houses.
THE ANC ALLIANCE GOES TO GREAT LENGTHS TO DISCREDIT AND UNDERMINE THE PUBLIC PROTECTOR I remind you that we have seen this situation unfold before! Remember what happened to the Scorpions?
The moment they started to produce results, which were “inconvenient” for the leaders of the tri-partite alliance, the Scorpions were discredited and in the end their demise was orchestrated.
The UDM expresses its dismay, but maybe not its surprise, at the ANC and its government’s desperate move to place their inter-ministerial cover-up of Nkandla on a pedestal in an attempt to malign the Public Protector.
The credibility of the Nkandla report cannot be challenged. The inter-ministerial exercise remains a public relations exercise aimed at deceiving the people. It can never be trusted.
Their condescending response and insinuation that the Public Protector may have political motives, demonstrates their sheer disdain towards this crucial organ of our constitutional democracy.
The ANC and its government must remember that the Public Protector exercises her powers and functions without fear, favour or prejudice, as an independent and impartial institution which derives its legitimacy and powers from Section 181 of the Constitution.
The report of the Public Protector is credible, meticulous and goes to the heart of the problem that engulfs South Africa.
We are certain that the Nkandla scandal is the tip of the iceberg in a country that suffers from glaring mismanagement, maladministration and corruption.
Instead of shamelessly undermining this important institution, the members of executive (who solemnly swore to “obey, observe, uphold and maintain the Constitution”) must perform their duties with honour and be the true custodians of our Constitution.
The ANC and its alliance partners continue to demonstrate considerable lack of humility in light of the overwhelming evidence of gross maladministration, misconduct and corruption. They cannot resist the urge to, once more, attempt to dupe the nation and forge ahead on their dubious path.
HANDS OFF THE PUBLIC PROTECTOR!
The UDM calls on all leaders of good conscience – those of opposition parties, communities and civil society – to stand together so that the Public Procter can in turn be protected from the hyenas howling for her blood.
Before I leave you today, I leave you with a bit of homework. If you are still of the view that the ANC is the way to go, do a little introspection. Look at what they have done to the country and her people. They employ lies to enrich the few at the expense of the many.
When you go to the polls on 7 May… think! The power is in your hands; take charge! It is time for change, so that we can have a better future for ourselves and our children.
I thank you