WATCH | Mmusi Maimane hits Nelson Mandela Bay on Kasi tour

DA leader woos crowd in Afrikaans during election campaign

Supporters of the DA in Uitenhage came out in their numbers to the Allanridge Hall on Tuesday to listen to party leader Mmusi Maimane.

Maimane visited Nelson Mandela Bay as part of his Kasi-to-Kasi tour ahead of the May 8 general elections.

Before visiting Uitenhage, he went on a door-to-door campaign in Motherwell, where he also held a street meeting before heading out to Qhayiya College in New Brighton.

Maimane wowed crowds with his fluent Afrikaans in Bethelsdorp and people could be heard saying “hy praat mooi Afrikaans” (loosely translated: he speaks Afrikaans well).

In Bethelsdorp, residents told of the rampant crime, gangsterism and lack of jobs.

Maimane told the residents in the northern areas that the ANC and UDM-led coalition was failing the people.

“The ANC has failed you. It has failed your children because they are sitting out here in the streets,” Maimane said.

He touched on jobs, increasing the capacity of the police by building more police stations, and coalitions and how they were the future of the country.

“As the DA we’re not saying that everyone in the country will work but at least we’re going to make sure there is at least one person in each household that has a job when we come into power.

“It can’t be that when young people finish school they sit at home like pensioners.

“We’re going to create a jobs and justice fund to make sure that when people want to start their own businesses, there’s money to do so. Our people are living in fear here, which is why we’re going to make sure that we build police stations and increase the capacity of police and make sure criminals are arrested and remain in prison,” Maimane said.

He visited the home of Gideon and Jacqueline Stevens, where Jacqueline told how gang violence had increased because their children did not have jobs.

“They sit on street corners all day because they’ve got nothing to do and because of this they think that a life of gangsterism is the only way for them,” Stevens said.

Maimane was accompanied by DA provincial leader Nqaba Bhanga, MP Phumzile van Damme, Ngqura constituency leader Yusuf Cassim and MPL Edmund van Vuuren.

Speaking on coalitions, Maimane said President Cyril Ramaphosa misled people over the weekend when he said coalitions do not work.

Maimane said they were, in fact, the future of the country.

“We can’t have one party in the country with an outright majority because that’s how state capture happens.”

Maimane’s comments come after Ramaphosa said at the weekend that the coalition in the metro was not working.

Ramaphosa said that while driving around he saw how dirty the city was, which he said was evidence that the ANC and UDM-led coalition was not working.

Bhanga said when the DA was in government it did not steal from the poor.

Referring to a forensic report by PricewaterhouseCoopers on the metro’s contract with Milongani for environmental management services, Bhanga said Bobani had allegedly stolen millions from the city.

“Bobani has [allegedly] stolen R21m from [the city using] Milongani [Eco Consulting]. Bobani stole money from the people,” he said.

An affidavit by the Hawks found that some of the more than R25m siphoned off from the city through the waste management company allegedly landed up in two bank accounts belonging to Bobani and others. Bobani previously laughed off the claims and raids by the Hawks as a political ploy ahead of the elections.

Bhanga said people voting for the ANC in memory of former president Nelson Mandela should stop because he was dead.

“If you vote for the ANC, you’re voting for [former president Jacob] Zuma, Ramaphosa and Bosasa,” he said.

Directing his message to Bobani, Maimane said: “Papa wag vir jou.”

Upon seeing Maimane, people screamed, with one woman in Bethelsdorp saying all she wanted to do was touch him.

Another woman in Uitenhage pushed her baby at him so that a picture could be taken of Maimane with the baby.

Bhanga had to shield Maimane from the crowd as people kept throwing themselves at him.