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Thursday, 24 January 2013

Where is ‘Action Man’ when his country needs him?

The DA's Parliamentary Leader, Lindiwe Mazibuko, has penned an open letter to our useless esteemed President Jacob Zuma. In her letter she calls on him to actually do what is needed of him and to fulfil his leadership role in this country. She rightfully questions his tactics, motives and actions in relation to several key issues facing South Africa today. 

She calls on him to take action and ensure that members of the ANC stop making inflammatory statements in the press which fuel protests and wage disputes. She calls on him to make an effort to halt the violence that we have been seeing in the Sasolburg protests, farmworkers strike and in the mining industry - these very real issues have been passed over by the man who has been tasked with giving our country leadership. 

It is regrettable that no word has come from JZ on any of these issues but his office was exceptionally quick in making statements condemning an advertisement from FNB which shows children dressed in school uniforms highlighting all of the challenges we face and pointing out the fact that we need a working government. These ads were condemned by the ANC, the ANCYL and the ANCWL as being "treasonous". 

Strange how the ANC is very quick jump up and speak out about what they perceive as attacks on them but fail to even acknowledge that there are violent protests happening. Its completely mind-boggling. And to put things in perspective, the office of the ANC Chief Whip has publicly stated that JZ must ignore Ms Mazibuko's letter - its so comforting to know that our government actively advocates a culture of secrecy, ignorance and avoidance of accountability at all costs. 

I was unable to even find a copy of the open letter on any of the major news sites after a cursory search and Goggle search. I managed to track it down on the DA website (which has disabled its forums for the foreseeable future). Here is a copy of the letter:

Where is ‘Action Man’ when his country needs him?

Lindiwe Mazibuko, Parliamentary Leader of the Democratic Alliance

23 January 2013

I have today written to President Zuma calling upon him to demonstrate the leadership that his high office requires of him. He must immediately put a stop to the ANC’s campaign to discourage investment and destroy jobs through aggressive and irresponsible language and conduct.

While Mr Zuma is busy selling South Africa as an investor-friendly market at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, his actions back home, and those of the party he leads, are working towards the opposite goal. While the government talks up investment abroad, the ANC seems intent on crushing it at home.

Indeed, just two weeks after his party deputy, Cyril Ramaphosa labelled him “action man”, Mr Zuma’s inaction on critical issues makes it clear that he is determined to prove him wrong.

This has particuarly been the case in the period following Mr Zuma’s re-election in Manguang last month.

At a fundraising breakfast with private sector businesses, President Zuma stated that businesses which support the ANC will see their fortunes “multiply”. Mr Zuma has to date failed to provide a clarification as to his statement, nor has he distanced himself from the prejudicial and insulting remarks made in his defence by ANC spokesperson, Jackson Mthembu.

Mr Zuma has not taken any visible steps to address the on-going tensions between organised labour, the Minister of Mineral Resources, Susan Shabangu, and AMPLATS following the mine’s decision to retrench 14000 workers. Instead of taking action himself, he has allowed ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe to take the lead. It is deeply inappropriate for a political party representative to fulfill the responsibilities of the government, and is further evidence of the unlawful conflation of party and state which continues unchecked under the ANC. 

The reality is that the mining sector faces fundamental challenges which can only be solved through decisive leadership and clear, growth-oriented government policy. Even after the horror of Marikana, Mr Zuma seems to miss this point entirely.

The Presidency also remains unwilling to address the looting of public funds for the upgrade of ministerial houses, at a cost of R65 million to the public. The continued excessive and unwarranted expenditure on “executive perks”, in the face of extreme poverty and inequality, demands immediate intervention from the highest office, along with an unequivocal commitment that no such waste will be tolerated. But given that the president failed to hold himself to this standard, continuing with a R250 million upgrade to his private home, it is likely that the silence will continue.

Just this past week, the ANC, ANCYL and ANCWL attacked FNB following their publication of a positive video campaign calling on South Africans to cooperate for a better future. The ANC’s accusation that FNB is guilty of “treason” is not only deeply irresponsible but points to the increasingly unconstitutional attitude of the majority party. The fact that FNB felt forced to pull the video for fear of reprisals against the children is the most shocking indictment to date of the type of environment the ANC President has created in South Africa today.

As President of the Republic and leader of the governing party, Mr Zuma has the power and responsibility to prevent such attacks from occurring, and to take decisive action where necessary, to instill real confidence in the stability of our nation. If he is truly South Africa’s ‘action man’, and is serious about attracting investment to South Africa, then the time to act is now.

You can read the original here

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