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8 Quotes: Opposition leaders at their worst

2014-03-27 20:13
Bloemfontein - Every South African politician has had their gaffe at someone - be it journalists, the ruling party or during a humorous moment in Parliament.

Here are 8 quotes from the opposition parties' leaders.

1. Helen Zille (DA)
"@KUBANE She is so terrified that she will be damned by her own complexion that she has to bend over to prove her political correctness."

The DA leader tweets regularly and had a few memorable spats in the past. But the most memorable one will most likely remain to be this one. She launched a surprisingly vitriolic attack on City Press political journalist Carien du Plessis late in February 2014.

2. Mosiuoa Lekota (Cope)
"Look I am not an expert on HIV and AIDS and I don't want to venture an opinion on whether it does or not. I am not a medical doctor, so I will not comment on that."

The comments were widely criticised, with one national newspaper editor labelling them as "depressing" and "Thabo Mbeki's Aids denialism all over again". Under severe pressure to recant, Lekota told the BBC that "the virus causes Aids [...] I accept that".

3. Blessed Gwala (IFP)
"I am not a Prophet or Sangoma but have sensed that there is a grand plan from the Corridors of Power aimed to assassinate Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, the President of the IFP including poisoning him."

This was not said by Buthelezi himself, but by Blessed Gwala, the leader of the official opposition in the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature (2009). He raised this concern during a parliamentary sitting while the house was debating on the matter of public importance on the killings of Public Representatives and Leaders in KwaZulu-Natal.

4. Kenneth Meshoe (ACDP)
Back in 2006, the Reverend Kenneth Meshoe warned that it would “provoke God’s anger” after it was announced that South Africa had passed a law allowing same-sex unions.

5. Mamphela Ramphele (AgangSA)
“There are millions of South Africans who will never vote for the DA but they want a home, which Agang SA will give them.”

Ramphele admitted in a City Press article that the decision to accept nomination to be the DA’s presidential candidate was a rushed one, and apologised for the unhappiness caused by her decision.

6. Bantu Holomisa (UDM)
Mr B H Holomisa:
"Thank you, Mr President, for sending Minister Chabane to help the Walter Sisulu University students whilst that confused communist was being helped at a certain rehabilitation centre to deal with his addiction to one of the whisky products.

"Mr President, allow me to apologise in advance for I will not be able to stay for the entire duration of the debate."

Mr L Suka:
"Deputy Speaker, I think the honourable member is making an insinuation about the honourable minister."

Holomisa:
"It's an insinuation... I didn't accuse him."

Suka;
"He is making a serious allegation against the Minister of Higher Education regarding the rehabilitation because of one of the whisky brands."

Holomisa:
"Go and investigate."

Suka:
"That is not parliamentary, Deputy Speaker. Will you please rule on that?"

Deputy Speaker:
"Honourable Holomisa,..."

Holomisa:
"Yes."

Speaker:
" ...you know where you must make those allegations?"

Holomisa:
"I thought you would go and consult your advisors and then come back to the House."

Speaker:
"Honourable Holomisa,..."

Holomisa:
"Okay, I withdraw."

This was a speech by UDM president Bantu Holomisa, in the debate on the President's State of the Nation address in the National Assembly on 8 February 2014.

7. Pieter Mulder (FF Plus)
"Sir, Africans in particular never in the past lived in the whole of South Africa. The Bantoe- speaking people moved from the equator down while the white people moved from the Cape up to meet each other at the Kei River. There is sufficient proof that there were no Bantoe-speaking people in the Western Cape and North-western Cape. These parts form 40% of South Africa’s land surface."

As quoted in an guest column published on News24 in February 2012, Pierre de Vos wrote this statement by Mulder "provided South Africans with a textbook example of the kind of historical amnesia that has befallen some of my fellow white South Africans. Almost every day one has to listen to some or other fellow on the radio complaining about how black South Africans are obsessed with the past.

8. Julius Malema
"President Jacob Zuma built a R2.5m swimming pool for his family using public funds even though his whole family does not know how to swim."

The EFF leader ripped into Zuma's Nkandla homestead during a 2013 interview with the Doha-based broadcaster Al-Jazeera.

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