Open Letter to Helen Zille

2013-10-31 07:38

As you already know there was a violent protest in Cape Town . This protest followed a two weeks long violent protest in Bekkersdal community in Gauteng.

Mnusi Maimane your Premier candidate for Gauteng has been quoted through the media; and I have read the press statement in your DA website.

Maimene called on the Premier of Gauteng Nomvula Makonyane to listen to the poor.

“There are genuine grievances in Bekkersdal and Nomvula seems to have forgotten that she is ultimately responsible for delivery to that community”. Maimane said.

Unfortunately here in Western Cape Maimane cannot for obvious reasons release statement and go to the media and tell you the same about the recent violent protest in Cape Town.

The people of Western Cape mostly the poor have tried so many times to show their frustration to the DA led City of Cape Town. All their attempts however are always watered down by you and your spin doctors.

You always shift the ANC and its youth league.

Let me ask you dear Premier; was it the ANC that asked you to give Khayelitsha people open toilets?

In 2010,  your City of Cape Town build open toilets for Khayelisha residents with the expectation that they will close them by themselves.

This erupted into a scandal and the DA was exposed when Khayelistsha residents protested and made the issue a national discourse. You blamed the ANCYL.

Recently, again, Khayelitsha and other townships are expected to use and accept portable toilets.

In the City of Cape Town’s and your surprise, Khayelitsha residents and those from Phillipi disapproved.

First, Nyanga and Philipi people showed their frustration on the N- 1 road. You saw this protest on you way from the airport.

Excitedly, you went on to vent on twitter about a strike blaming the ANC government. Someone quickly tweeted to you that it was a City of Cape Town strike on portable toilets. Few hours later, you blamed the ANCYL for the protest.

An event all people will remember is the recent sanitation war allegedly led by Andile Lili in Khayelitsha. People including Andile Lili a khayelitsha resident are showing the DA-led city their frustration and unhappiness on the roll-out of portable toilets.

On the first occasion human waste was flung at the City of Cape Town’s administration buildings in town. On the second, they were thrown at your car on your way to attend a mass meeting in Khayelitsha.

In all occasion, from the N-1 protest to the human waste flung at your envoy and to the CoCT admin building the ANC and ANCYL was accused of electioneering and fuelling protest even after both ANC and ANCYL distanced themselves from the events.

The South African Human Rights Commission was against the open toilets and is still against the portable toilets. I wonder if this independent body will be accused of ANC electioneering on its decision to distance itself and lambast the City for its sanitation plans.

In 2012 we witness one of the longest strikes by farm workers in Western Cape De Doorns. Farm workers downed tools and went on a protest calling for a fair wage. These workers were showing their frustration of people paid R69 a day.

They simply wanted a salary that would enable them like all others to send their kids to school and have food on the table when they come back. Here, you mama Zille  and your spin spin doctors again accused the ANC of fuelling the strike.

In your news-letter, ANC councillors and a local NGO Passop were accused of undue influence to the labour unrest in farms.

You saw nothing wrong with farm workers getting R69 a day; instead,you saw a strike, not fuelled by unfair wages, but by the ANC. In here, you sided with the farmers who were posing as victims at the time.

Sadly, a research on the issues involved in the labour unrest conducted by UCT’s African Studies Centre and Western Cape Economic Development Partnership (WCEDP) found no links between the farm workers and the ANC or Passop for that matter. Both research contradicted with your newsletter.

Unfortunately, you failed to write another one telling us you were wrong. You also failed to thank farmers and congratulate the workers when their wages was finally raised to R105 a day.

It was not a long time ago when Michel’s Plain including other areas in Cape Town faced an intense drugs and gang related activities.

Then you asked Zuma of something that you knew yourself will not happen; that is, for Zuma to deploy troops in the gang affected areas.

When Zuma refused as we all expected; so much noise was made by you, shifting all the attention from drugs and gangs to Jacob Zuma and the soldiers. Again, here too the ANC was clearly to blame for the city’s inability to fight drugs and gangs.

Who would forget the recent eviction of 125 people in Phillipi.

Their homes were demolished by the City of Cape Town’s Anti-Land Invasion Unit. You and your army saw these people as invaders of the Great Cape Town land; like dirt, they needed to be removed by all means possible.

And these means included using a non-existent imaginary laws like your made up “Protection of the Possession of Property Act”. The DA basically used a law which does not exist to make people who had homes they constructed by themselves without the City’s help homeless.  When these people protested, you blamed the ANCYL.

Now tell me mama Zille, was it the ANC that instructed you to evict those people using a law that does not exist?

I highlight these events to show how the DA led City of Cape Town and you always lie to poor people and how they always shift the blame to the ANC

Instead of the City trying to provide decent sanitation that all people will be happy about they will provide open or later portable toilets.

When the people protest to show their frustration they are not listened to; instead the city looks at the clothes of 1 in a 150+ people protesting if they happen to be ANC colours, the ANCYL and the ANC will be accused of fuelling the strike.

The media and South Africans then fall in this trap; people start accusing the ANC of cheap electioneering and forget that there are people who are expected to use toilets that will flush and keep the waste in the same room they're supposed to sleep and eat in.

When there is a gang problem; troops are called to come in by you. Instead of focusing on the city that fails to tackle the problems of drugs and gangs, we focus on Zuma who within his rights and understandable reasons does not approve of troops being sent in when we have a national police force and metro-police in the City.

Instead of looking at the City of Cape Town that lies and uses non-existent laws to evict people and make them homeless. We blame the ANC.

There is fundamentally something wrong with the relationship the City of Cape Town has with the poor. And we need to ask ourselves what it is and stop listening to your DA trying to make themselves saints when they are not.

In many occasions now, Patricia De-Lille the Cape Town Mayor has been trying to attend Public Hearings in townships. In all occasions she has been booed off. Like you Helen always does, she blames the ANC instead of questioning herself why that is happening. Is it not because of the City's lies to the people maybe?

The people of Cape Town now are not expected to show their unhappiness and frustration to the city. Every time they do, it’s not them but the ANC or its Youth League that is protesting.

I call on to the City of Cape Town, you Helen Zille and your DA to listen to the people no matter how poor they are. I plead to them to understand, wearing an ANC t-shirt at a protest in Western Cape doesn't constitute an “ANC fuelled” protest.

And I plead to all DA supporters not to think everything is perfect in the Western Cape because its not.

As we have seen in Bekkersdal where DA’s Maimane is calling for the Premier of Gauteng to listen to the poor, protesters used violence. Matriculants in that community were even scared they won’t be able to write their exams. That protest was way more violent than the Cape Town one.

I am no way condoning violent protests; I just won’t pretend like this it was the first time I’ve seen in the country.

I don’t in any way deny that other provinces have challenges because they have. What is good in those provinces is that every time people protest, we know who to blame; not the people, but the people who are meant to serve them.

Protests in other provinces are not accused of being fuelled by the DA or ANC just because someone was wearing a DA or ANC protest. Those people are listened to.

I know it’s hard to sympathise with the poor from your house in Ronderbosch, a suburb the National Party planned for you to stay while the poor are packed like animals in the Cape Flats.

You don’t live in a holed shack that lets in the rain when Cape Town winter hits hard. Unlike the poor, when you sleep you don’t worry about what might happen if your next door neighbour leaves a candle burning to firing up the entire shack community.

You dont have to share a communal tap and you also dont have to use a 5liter bucket that you call a "portable toilet"; you dont live with its smell. Gladys is there for you to spray Glade and freshen up your already fresh house.

From your Cape Town legislature you looked down at the protestors through your offices in the government skyscraper building. As you always do, you took pictures and made few jokes on twitter. Yes, when the poor cry to you it’s funny.

When you were booed off at the IDZ launch in Saldhanha I knew what those people were doing was wrong. But I liked one thing; you were now experiencing what Cape Town protesters experience every time they protest - you were not being listening to- like you do to them.

You boo them off when they protest and point them to the ANC, you boo them off when they tell you they dont want your portable toilets. You always boo them off everytime you reduce their concerns to cheap political electioneering.

Please Helen Zille take responsibility for the protest in Western Cape and stop being a blame shifter.

Find me on Twitter and let’s continue the conversation @Esethu_u

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