Enraged Maimane berates “racially motivated” ANC election campaign
Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane has lashed out at the African National Congress (ANC) and President Jacob Zuma, for what he described as leading a “racially motivated” campaign against him and his party before Wednesday’s highly anticipated local government elections.
Social media become abuzz over the weekend, poking fun at Maimane with #ThingsMmusiDid, after he reportedly told supporters at the party’s Phetogo rally at the Dobsonville Stadium in Soweto on Saturday, that he voted for the ANC and late former President Nelson Mandela in 1999, when Thabo Mbeki was running for President after the anti-apartheid icon announced he would not be standing for a second term.
A number of ANC members then allegedly took aim at Maimane’s comments, citing his birthdate of June 8th 1980 as being too young to have voted for Mandela in 1994.
Addressing a large contingent of media at the Donkin Reserve in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday morning, a visibly annoyed Maimane said the party’s ongoing strides had clearly come as a worry to the ruling party, who “throughout this campaign had seek to divide South Africa based on race”.
“Never in my life have I heard a more racially divisive campaign from the ANC as I have heard in this recent one. They have spent their days literally not only speaking about me, but invoking the very worst of what Apartheid brought to the people,” Maimane said.
He was allegedly referring to comments made by Zuma at the party’s final Siyanqoba Rally in Johannesburg on Sunday, in which the President branded the DA a “white party” that only “only cares for whites”
Zuma had previously accused Maimane of being “fake” and lacking credibility, telling supporters at a similar rally in Zwide some two weeks ago that only the ANC fought for the country’s freedom from Apartheid.
“They have investment time in spewing lies, being divisive to the people of this country and spewing the worst kind of racism you will ever hear,” a now livid Maimane said, before accusing the ruling party for “misquoting me”.
“My statement said, “I voted here in Dobsonville for the first time in 1999”, never said I voted in 1994 “down at the DSJ Primary School. We knew what we had to do: We had to vote for the man that helped liberate us - the party of Nelson Mandela. There was no debate. We were ANC, and the ANC was us. And that’s how everyone I knew voted. We did it for Madiba”.
“I don’t know where out of that statement you could misconstrue the fact that I said I voted in 1994. It is a clear ploy on the part of swindlers and corrupt people who don’t have a future for South African and vision to come out now and make-up lies”.
Maimane reiterated that the ANC no longer represents the values it once did, and that matters had progressively became worse under Zuma’s leadership.
“What have they done expect for calling people racists and [using] the most despicable language? The ANC of Nelson Mandela is not the ANC Jacob Zuma is standing for. You might as well argue that the best branch of the ANC is in heaven… what is left behind are supporters and cheerleaders of Jacob Zuma and people who don’t understand reconciliation and redress,” he continued.
“We are not perfect but the sheer undermining of the ANC shows they have no plan. The only card the ANC has is to introduce a race-based fear that seems to take this country backwards”.
He stated that the party makes no apologies for using the same values as Mandela and that it would not regress to the same levels of the ruling party.
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