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Dear Helen Zille

17 October 2012, 07:24

I write this letter to comment on the presidential debate challenge you posed to Zuma.

I must first commend you for leading the opposition party in our democratic South Africa. Your presence in the media questioning ANC’s actions in noted. I therefore thank you because I believe in any healthy young democracy the opposition is necessary; without it, the ruling party will do anything that they deem right.

DA as the official party, chapter 9 institutions like the Public Protector, the courts and the Media we all pray for its impartiality will without a doubt keep our democracy alive.

Our country is facing a lot of challenges. As you highlighted on your letter to Zuma, the economy is currently under intense undue pressure from the labour union and worker strikes.

In countries like the United States presidential debates discuss the most controversial issues. The main objective of this is to influence, target and win the undecided voters over; especially those voters who are not partial to either the ideology of the party or political party itself.

 The idea then of a presidential debate between you and Zuma excites us South Africans. But, I question its intentions. With the purpose of the U.S’ presidential debates being to win votes, are you also challenging Zuma to just win votes from us South Africans?

Dr Mamphela Ramphele mentioned the idea of “active citizenry”. That we citizens should make the government in power accountable to us. That we must not only complain about their actions but also take initiatives and do something. This idea has been further emphasis by Trevor Manual on the National Development Plans that you Helen praise its objectives and realistic goals to improve the South African government.

I then fail to understand how a one hour long debate between you and president Zuma will help overcome the challenges this country is faced with. Instead of challenging Zuma to a debate I believe you should be placing more focuses on Dr Mamphela’s idea of “Active Citizenry”. Instead of a debate that will be more about the complaints we all know of on ANC and how they are failing this country, do something about it. Actions are more powerful than words.

Quoting the ANC’s statement you must “"explain to the public how affording her an opportunity for a grandstanding spectacle will bring the much-needed solution to the current challenges that the nation faces”.

My one concern is that in all platforms you have been granted to communicate with the South African you only lambasted the ANC instead of telling us DA’s policies and how you plan to rescue us from our problems.

 In the DA’s provincial conference this weekend, you delivered an eight-page long speech in which you mentioned ‘ANC’ and ‘ANCYL’ 24 times and mentioned ‘DA’ 6 times. On an interview on SABC 3 Tv show “People of South” I waited for you to tell South African people what your plans as the DA leader are but again, you told us how the ANC is Marxist and Communist and nothing on the DA. 

How do we then, the citizens believe that the debate between you and Zuma will come up with solutions of these economic problems you noted?  

This country needs urgent solutions that will respond to the serious challenges faced by millions of South Africans. Those solutions will not come in a debate between you and Zuma.

Helen Zille, if you want real urgent solutions to our economic and social problem please try and meet up with Unions, business and other stake holders that will not only debate the challenges we already know but come up with solutions for them.

Thankyou Iron Lady

Esethu here, a concerned South African citizen

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