Zuma trial a victory for the DA - Maimane tells #DACongress2018
IOL / 08 APRIL 2018 - 08:43 / SIVIWE FEKETHA
Pretoria - The DA has used its federal congress to celebrate its successful decade-long legal battle for the reinstatement of charges against former president Jacob Zuma, describing it as a demonstration of the party’s commitment to rooting out corruption.
The party is holding its federal congress in Tshwane where it is set to elect a new leadership today.
DA leader Mmusi Maimane delivering his opening address at the DA’s federal congress held at the Tshwane Events Centre. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency(ANA)
Party leader Mmusi Maimane said Zuma - who was on Friday in the dock in the Durban High Court for 16 charges relating to corruption, fraud, money laundering and racketeering - would have to be forced to answer for his alleged criminal activities.
Maimane said various litigations by the official opposition helped secure freedoms and ensure accountability within the state.
“Ten years ago, we said we would not rest until Jacob Zuma was held accountable for his crimes. For ten years, we battled against him in every court, and we won.
“Yesterday his trial started. That is your victory. It is not over yet, but it has finally begun,” Maimane told delegates to the congress.
The party is pursuing another court action in a bid to force Zuma to return the R15.3 million legal bill incurred by the state in his fight against the reinstatement of the Spy Tapes case.
Maimane slammed the ANC and the EFF for advancing racial politics, calling on delegates to reject those who labelled the DA a white apartheid party and those who dismissed him as a puppet.
“The truth is that I will never be black enough for them because they don’t want black people to think for themselves. They want black people to remain trapped in the politics of race because this is what keeps the ANC in power.
“They are afraid of the new generation of black South Africans who think differently to them and want to choose their own futures,” Maimane said.
Maimane was on Sunday set to be re-elected uncontested for the second term as party leader, and one of his major tasks would be to lead the DA’s campaign to wrestle control of Gauteng from the ANC in the 2019 general election.
On Saturday, the party resolved on an array of ambitious policy resolution on jobs, education, the economy and land, which the party said it would implement should it be in the government.
On jobs, the party has resolved on the introduction of R150 a month Jobseekers’ Allowance for unemployed young people aged 18-34 and rewarding companies with broadbased black economic empowerment points and corporate tax cuts should they increase their staff components.
On land, the party resolved to reject the amendment of section 25 of the constitution in a bid to protect property rights of individuals.
The ANC, the EFF and a number of political parties have thrown their weight behind the recently adopted parliamentary motion to expropriate land without compensation to help advance land reform.
The move, which has pitted the EFF against the DA, was also adopted as a resolution by the ANC at its national elective conference in December. The DA has instead resolved to “not allow land reform to be used as a divisive and racially charged lightening conductor to pull public attention from failures of government by actively correcting the untruths meant to achieve this end”.
The party has instead committed itself to develop and implement land reform policies that extended property ownership, attracted investment, created jobs in the form of win-win partners and helped heal the divisions of the past. The party almost reached a deadlock on minimum wage, as a large section of the delegates objected to the party’s Job Seekers Exemption Certificate where job seekers must agree to be employed and paid below the R3500 national minimum wage for two years.
While the proposal was eventually passed as a policy resolution, some delegates complained that it was aimed at doing away with the national minimum wage through the back door.
On Sunday, the party is electing a new leadership, where Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga and Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Athol Trollip are the main contenders for the federal executive chairperson post, which is occupied by Trollip.
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