Opposition leaders keen to debate

2008-11-03 00:00

Cape Town — United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa and his Freedom Front counterpart, Pieter Mulder, yesterday became the latest opposition leaders to rise to the challenge by ANC president Jacob Zuma for a debate on policy issues.

“We welcome Zuma’s call to debate policy. Nobody understands what his policies or those of the ANC are anymore,” Holomisa said, while Mulder said he gladly accepts the challenge to a public debate.

The leaders were responding to a challenge issued by Zuma during a speech in Soweto on Sunday.

Zuma called on ANC dissidents Mosuia Lekota and Mbazima Shilowa to put forward policies for debate.

Declaring his availability for a debate, Holomisa said: “When he’s in the United States he says what they want to hear, when he’s in a poor-white community he says what they want to hear, when he speaks to a rural community in KwaZulu-Natal he tells them yet another thing. Meanwhile Mr [Julius] Malema sings another tune, and so does Mr [Blade] Nzimande,” he said.

“And Ms [Jessie] Duarte, [ANC spokeswoman] is forced to contradict herself or one of her leaders on a weekly basis. The ANC really isn’t in any position to accuse anybody of policy uncertainty.”

Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille has also accepted the challenge, saying that Zuma has, until now, done all in his power to avoid debating with her.

Mulder said the debate should not have any restrictions and should be held on all the issues which affect South Africans.

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