Ramaphosa must come out of hiding while SA burns - Maimane

2019-09-03 16:03
Uyinene Mrwetyana. (File)

Uyinene Mrwetyana. (File)

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DA leader Mmusi Maimane has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to come out of hiding in the midst of serious violent crimes, protests and what he called an economic collapse.

"Where is the president? Citizens are here mourning. We are in a crisis at the moment when women don't feel safe in our country ... Where is he? He hasn't said a thing."

Maimane was speaking to the media shortly after a meeting with the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) in Johannesburg on Tuesday before a statement was issued by Ramaphosa on the killings of Uyinene Mrwetyana and Leighandre Jegels.

READ: 'Dark period for SA' - Ramaphosa condemns Mrwetyana and Jegels murders

Maimane's comments come at a time when the country was still reeling in shock after the murders of University of Cape Town student Uyinene Mrwetyana, boxing champion Leighandre "Baby Lee" Jegels, Cape Town woman Lynette Volschenk and others during Women's Month.

In addition, the country has been rocked by violent protests, marked by looting and attacks on foreigners, in the past two weeks.

"We cannot have somebody who sits in high office and when citizens are saying, our towns are burning, we are at war as a country, we are at war in our cities, we are at war in our homes. Yet the leader of our country is simply sitting back and saying nothing. I am calling upon him and saying he must come out, come out of hiding, come out strong," said Maimane.

He added that the government needed clear decisive action against gender-based violence and questioned why Ramaphosa had not made any resolutions following a gender summit.

The DA has proposed that Ramaphosa oversee an accelerated operation of the national joint operation of intelligence networks which would co-ordinate all security.

This security network would be well placed to first anticipate and respond to criminal acts and disorder, he said.

"It is crystal clear that we should have intelligence to know what is happening on the ground. These actions should never surprise us as the citizens."

Maimane added that public order police should be deployed to all volatile areas in Gauteng.

He said capital dedicated to ensuring the safety of Cabinet officials, amounting to R631m yearly, needed to be redeployed and channelled towards security.

"I would urge that it's not the politicians who need protection now. It's the citizens. We need to redeploy that financial capital and put it on the ground."

OPINION: State of emergency - taking the plight of women and children seriously

Maimane also proposed that the government establish a task team to review law enforcement systems to better enable the prevention of violent crimes against women.

He said the root cause of South Africa's challenges was the crippling economy which led to his meeting with the Sacci.

The DA was expected to table an economic recovery plan in Parliament on Tuesday afternoon, as part of its contributions to solutions for the country's economic crises.

"It doesn’t matter what document we can table, what is factually true is that action is what is required. If we don’t deal urgently and decisively with underlying causes of the economic and social then indeed we are fooling ourselves to believe that these incidents taking place will not be repeated."

Ramaphosa broke his silence on Tuesday afternoon and commended South African law enforcement authorities for their action which led to the arrests of two people for the brutal murders of Mrwetyana and Jegels.

"This is a very dark period for us as a country. The assaults, rapes and murders of South African women are a stain on our national conscience." Ramaphosa said.

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Read more on:    uyinene mrwetyana  |  cyril  |  mmusi mai­mane  |  leighandre (baby lee) jegels  |  crime  |  gender abuse  |  politics
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