DA hits campaign trail

2009-02-16 00:00

CAPE TOWN — Electioneering for the April poll got under way yesterday with the official opposition demanding answers from the ruling party on why it has broken “10 key promises’’.

The Democratic Alliance hit the campaign trail at Maokeng in the Free State this weekend with DA chief whip Ian Davidson calling on President Kgalema Motlanthe for answers on issues relating to crime, corruption and service delivery, accusing the ANC of “regularly and repeatedly [breaking] its promises”.

Turning to examples, Davidson cited Jacob Zuma’s refusal to stand down. “Despite making crime and corruption-fighting one of its five priorities in its 2009 manifesto, the ANC’s national leader still refuses to stand down, despite facing 738 fraud and corruption charges. The ANC has other people on its election lists who have been found guilty of crimes.

“In 2004, the ANC pledged in its manifesto to ‘strengthen the prosecution system’ and ‘make life more difficult for criminals’. In every year since 2005, the number of people successfully prosecuted by the state has dropped and court backlogs have increased,” Davidson continued.

“In 2004, the ANC promised to strengthen the Scorpions. The Scorpions were finally disbanded last week because they threatened a high profile leader.”

On other broken promises, Davidson said that, in 1999, the ANC claimed in its manifesto that it would “pay special attention towards serious and violent crimes, including the abuse of women and children”. “But over the past three years the ANC has systematically dismantled the … units which were central to efforts to tackle abuse of women and children.

“The ANC’s 2004 manifesto promised to ‘improve protection of borders to stem illegal immigration’. Estimates show that there are between three and five million illegal immigrants in the country.

Continuing with his attack Davidson noted that promises to share wealth, business opportunities and skills training more equitably had been overtaken by the creation of “a super-class of ANC cronies.”

In further examples of broken promises, Davidson cited the failure to implement an effective policy to turn the tide against HIV and AIDS.

He noted that in place of consolidating peace, security and development in southern Africa the ANC’s support of Mugabe has plunged Zimbabwe into a state of economic chaos. Its promise to redistribute 30% of privately owned land had not been met, while a June 2008 shortfall of 42 763 classrooms meant that 1,5 million schoolchildren were without the promised classrooms.

Davidson called on Motlanthe to explain the discrepancy between promises and reality.

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