DA leader Mmusi Maimane. (Amanda Khoza, News24)
Cape Town – The Democratic Alliance (DA) has called on President Jacob Zuma to “come out of hiding” and speak out against the violence in Tshwane.
Following the DA’s federal council in eThekwini, KwaZulu-Natal, the party reflected on its election readiness.
DA leader Mmusi Maimane said this past week, where five people died in election related violence, showed the stakes had never been higher.
Violence broke out after the ANC announced former cabinet minister, Thoko Didiza, as the party's mayoral candidate for Tshwane.
“This factional war demonstrates yet again just how much the ANC has changed. The ANC is at war with itself, putting the lives of people in danger. They should be ashamed of the way they have allowed, and responded to, this serious situation,” Maimane said.
He said it was equally condemnable that Zuma still remained silent, nearly a full week after the violence erupted.
Silence is shameful
“While people have died, and public property destroyed, the President has not said a single word. The DA again calls for Jacob Zuma to come out of hiding and speak out against the mess his party has created,” he said.
He said the president's "silence was shameful".
The party expressed confidence it could clinch the 2016 local government elections.
“We are now running the biggest election campaign in the history of the party, in every corner of the country. We have the momentum and we can win!” Maimane said.
So far, one million posters had been put up across South Africa and more than five million leaflets had been distributed.
The party challenged ANC mayoral candidates, who were announced a week ago, to open debates.
Recent incidents of racism were also in the spotlight, including a decision by a KwaZulu-Natal guesthouse owner to refuse black people and government employees access to his establishment.
The party also raised concerns about the outcome of the 'Brexit' referendum, where Britain elected to leave the European Union, and its implications on the South African economy.