By Sesona Ngqakamba
DA leader Mmusi Maimane says he will be approaching Speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete requesting that and urgent Ad Hoc Joint Committee look into the violent protests that have hit DA-led coalition governments.
Maimane was speaking at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg on Sunday where he said he would approach the National Assembly to use its legislative power to summon all parties involved in the matter relating to the protests.
“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,” Maimane said.
This as the last several days saw an increase in service delivery protests in the Western Cape, Gauteng, Free State and KwaZulu-Natal.
Maimane charged that the ANC was panicking and has orchestrated the “so called ‘shutdowns’ as it feared that it would lose power in certain provinces come May 8, the day where South Africans go to polls.
“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.
He added that the protests were part of the ANC’s election campaign strategy and that it was endorsed by the party’s president Cyril Ramaphosa who on Thursday visited the community of Alexandra.
“This is evidenced by his (Ramaphosa’s) 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,” said Maimane.
However the ANC described accusations made by DA as “cheap electioneering”.
“The accusation levelled by the DA during its media briefing today against the Congress Movement is a desperation of the organisation that has lost touch with the people on the ground, especially in W Cape, Johannesburg and Tshwane where it is the governing party,” the ANC said in a statement.
The party said the DA had resorted to “cheap politicking by drawing the ANC into the mess created by its unholy alliance with Economic Freedom Fighters.”
It added that finger pointing and the blame game were the hallmark of the poor leadership of the DA, adding that no amount of finger-pointing would resolve service delivery challenges in DA-led coalition governments.
“The ANC’s position is that direct engagement with communities and accounting honestly and openly for our performance is one of the key solutions to community protests,” the party said.
‘We will not sit back’
Maimane however said as a party that governed 16 million South Africans across over 30 governments, they would be in dereliction of their constitutional duties if they did not act.
“We will not sit back and watch the ANC erode the very values that were sacrificially fought for,” he said.
Last week Maimane said he would approach National Police Commissioner General Khehla Sitole to intervene.
Maimane said he would again approach National Police Commissioner General Khehla Sitole and request an urgent face-to-face meeting in the next 48 hours to establish what plans are in place to put an end to the protests.
Maimane has also lodged a formal complaint with the Electoral Commission (IEC) over the “shutdown” protests, and will request to meet with IEC chairperson Glen Mashinini.
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Publish date : 2019-04-14 17:44:41