DA leader slams key government officials as he chases votes in PE

STREET CAMPAIGN: DA leader Mmusi Maimane speaks to supporters in Walmer Township Picture: BRIAN WITBOOI
STREET CAMPAIGN: DA leader Mmusi Maimane speaks to supporters in Walmer Township

In attacks on both the head of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and the newly appointed public protector, DA leader Mmusi Maimane has branded both leaders as President Jacob Zuma’s lackeys.

Maimane, who was campaigning in Port Elizabeth ahead of two upcoming by-elections, also described the acrimony between the president and Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan as being like a soap opera.

The DA leader suggested the relationship needed the kind of intervention offered by Mzansi’s reality TV show Please Step In.

Maimane made the comments on Saturday while back on the campaign trail with Bay mayor Athol Trollip and other DA officials in Port Elizabeth.

They were electioneering ahead of next month’s by-elections for Ward 4 in Walmer township and Ward 14 in New Brighton.

After supporters had joined the campaign party in Ferguson Road, New Brighton, Maimane also said there were problems within the ANC which could only be helped by a marriage counsellor.

“We have seen that Zuma only employs people who will work for him and not the nation,” the DA leader said.

“I am scared of the new public protector, Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane, as she is not the protector of the nation, but the protector of Zuma. He [Zuma] started with the National Prosecuting Authority by choosing Shaun Abrahams, who we just call ‘Shaun the sheep’ as he only listens to Kongolose [the ANC],” Maimane said.

“Abrahams began by prosecuting the minister of finance.

“It shows that the organisation [ANC] has a problem and I can say that the ANC will only be helped by marriage counselling as they have an internal problem.

“The Mzansi reality TV show Please Step In should sit with both Gordhan and Zuma to try and assist.”

Earlier in the day, Maimane had walked in Ferguson Road where he chatted with residents and handed out DA fliers.

“We went from house to house and we have seen people’s situations. We hope that we can change their situation.

“We have a better chance to effect change if we can win the ward,” he said.

“Since 1994, there have been promises and our people have lost hope.

“We are here because we don’t want to say there must be change for the sake of change, but there must be change that helps people’s lives.

“Another issue is that there is a problem with the housing waiting list. I want that list to be transparent to prevent fraud.

“Come November 9, the day of by-elections, we want to ‘vat alles’ [take everything],” Maimane said. While campaigning in Walmer later on Saturday, the DA group was interrupted by an ANC member who played loud revolutionary songs on a vehicle-mounted loud-hailer.

The man also complained that DA members had made it difficult for motorists to drive around the streets.

He was later persuaded to stop his disruption of the DA campaign.

Resident Ndileka Ndinise, 42, said she had decided not to vote as she had been waiting for a house for far too long. She lives in a shack covered with sheets of cardboard.

“It is very sad to see houses being built for my neighbours. I have decided to build my own house,” she said.

Trollip assured her that he would look into the matter.

Another resident, Mncedisi Mgwebi, 47, who was wearing an ANC T-shirt, immediately asked for a DA shirt.

“I have seen the work they [the DA] have done and I am confident that there are still many more changes that will better our lives,” Mgwebi said.

Trollip said the by-elections were important as the DA needed to win the two wards in the townships so that the party could change the situation in both. “Let us not take these by-elections lightly. “If we win these wards, PE will never be the same again. Let us make the city better for all of us,” Trollip said.

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