Anthony Benadie MPL
Provincial Leader – Mpumalanga
Note: The following member’s statement was made by Anthony Benadie to the Mpumalanga Provincial legislature on 13 August 2013.
I rise to deliver a members statement to condemn the ANC’s behaviour during last week’s Ward 15 Albert Luthuli by-election.
Elections are constitutionally enshrined opportunities to all registered South African voters, to express their political democratic preference though the power of their ballot – free from intimidation.
However, as the ANC continues to lose its grip on political power, and elections are increasingly becoming close contests, ANC intimidation is increasing.
And, while the ANC won Wednesday’s by-election with a reduced majority, they certainly cannot be proud of their behaviour. The ANC stopped at nothing on election day to intimidate voters, to provoke political parties, to create chaos at voting stations and create an explosive situation of emotion. In fact, under the watchful eye of senior leaders including the Honourable BT Shongwe, I am convinced that the ANC were pushing all limits in hope that physical conflict and violence would erupt.
Honourable Speaker, despite the ANC’s best intimidation attempts the DA still showed significant growth, from 9% in 2011 to 20% on Wednesday, but the intimidation did not stop, culminating in the ANC’s ward 22 councillor, Cllr Nthombeni deliberately knocking down a DA activist with his car on Thursday morning – seriously injuring his leg. Most appalling is that the ANC councillor fled the scene before police arrived.
While the councillor has been arrested and charged, the ANC must know that we will not rest until justice is served.
It is clear that the ANC is scared and has shown its disregard for democracy, but must realise: the DA will not disappear, we are here to stay, we are growing and we will not be intimidated by ANC hooliganism, in fact the ANC should be ashamed of themselves.