DA leader Mmusi Maimane has called for SAPS intervention in what he has labelled an ‘ANC-orchestrated anarchy’ in DA-led municipalities.
During a media briefing at Constitution Hill, Johannesburg, on Sunday, 14 April 2019, the Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane called on the South African Police Service (SAPS), the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) and parliament to intervene and put an end to the alleged “ANC-orchestrated anarchy” in DA-led municipalities.
The DA sought immediate intervention in “what can only be described as a malicious and calculated attempt by the African National Congress (ANC) to render DA-run cities ungovernable in the lead up to the election, and to shift attention away from its failure as national government over the past 25 years.
“The reality is that millions of South Africans live in communities that have 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.
“It appears that the likelihood of the party losing power in key parts of the country on 8 May 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.
Maimane was referring to the widespread protest action that engulfed the country over the past two weeks. Beginning in Alexandra, Johannesburg, on April 3, the “shutdowns” had spread to other DA-run governments, including Ga-Rankuwa, Mabopane, Pretoria West, Soshanguve, Winterveld, and Hammanskraal in the City of Tshwane, Orange Grove and Pennyville in Soweto in the City of Johannesburg, Khayelitsha, Lwandle, Happy Valley and Blackheath in the City of Cape Town and Caledon in the Theewaterskloof Municipality in the Western Cape. There were threats of further “shutdown” protests.
Maimane said the DA would not take this alleged attack by the ANC lying down. He said he would, once again, approach National Police Commissioner Lieutenant-General Khehla Sitole to request an urgent in-person meeting to discuss the communities’ way forward.
“Earlier this week I requested a meeting with General Sitole, who committed to meet on 29 April 2019. This is not good enough. We need urgent intervention and 29 April may be too late. The SAPS must immediately institute a plan to halt the ANCs objective of inciting violence and turning our communities into war zones and will address this head-on when I meet with General Sitole,” he said.
Maimane said he would also request a meeting with the IEC chairperson Glen Mashinini to request an update on the formal complaint laid by the DA over the shutdown protests.
“Finally, we believe parliament has a vital role to play in getting to the bottom of this orchestrated anarchy. As such, we will write 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. Parliament must use its powers to summon all involved.
“South Africans face a clear choice at the ballot box on 8 May – a choice between more violence and chaos from the ANC, or the DA’s agenda to bring change that restores order and builds One South Africa For All,” Maimane said.