Mmusi Maimane at the DA's final rally in Soweto on Saturday.
DA leader Mmusi Maimane has reminded South Africans that current head of state and president of the ANC Cyril Ramaphosa was part of the leadership collective when the country was looted during the state capture era.
Maimane goes head-to-head with Ramaphosa, the EFF's Julius Malema and several other leaders to become South Africa's next president, with the odds already in favour of the ANC, which is the country's largest political party.
Maimane, who returned to Dobsonville in Soweto on Saturday where he grew up, told thousands of guests at the DA's Phetogo rally, the final major gathering the DA held ahead of the national elections, taking place on Wednesday.
He said the ANC wanted South Africans to believe it had elected a leader who "just arrived in time to save us", said Maimane.
"Cyril Ramaphosa was there, as deputy president, when the state was looted," said Maimane.
The DA leader accused Ramaphosa of protecting former president Jacob Zuma throughout his many scandals.
"Zuma and the Guptas were protected in vote after vote after vote. His name is recorded in these votes as one of those who betrayed us," he said, referring to the controversial family accused of capturing Zuma and using their relationship with him to loot from South African taxpayers.
"This is a man who has taken no action against those in his party responsible for the Esidimeni deaths,” said Maimane now referring to the deaths of more than 144 psychiatric patients in Gauteng, who died after being moved Life Esidimeni to unlicensed NGO’s.”
“This is a man who called on the police to take action against mineworkers striking for a living wage. The next day 34 of them were killed," said Maimane, referring to what has become known as the Marikana massacre where striking miners were shot down by police in 2012.
He further accused Ramaphosa of doing nothing while state-owned enterprises such as Eskom and Prasa were looted and are now struggling to function and need urgent intervention to keep going.
"Cyril Ramaphosa is no saviour. He is part of the ANC that caused so much despair and suffering these past 25 years. And now they want another five years to loot," said Maimane during this passionate delivery, where he urged South Africans to turn their backs on the ANC and not to fear changing the status quo.
"We can either choose five more years of corruption and empty promises, or we can change," Maimane said.
He said South Africans could choose a different path, one that comes with a job in every home, as the DA had been promising throughout its campaign season.
We can either choose a future no different to our present, or we can choose a future with at least one job in every home, food on every table and opportunities for our children.
"We need change, and we need it now," said Maimane.
"But, fellow South Africans, here's the thing about change: It is never easy. It’s uncomfortable. It can be scary," added Maimane.