Swearing in ceremony of the 5th Legislature term of office

DA Leader in the Eastern Cape

Note: This is the text of a speech delivered by Athol Trollip at the swearing in ceremony of the 5th Legislature term of office in Bhisho.

It is indeed a proud day for the DA, its representatives, past and present and all those that have been voting for it and its predecessor parties to finally become the official opposition in this legislature. Our Party’s growth has been spectacular in every election since 1994 and today we represent the biggest ever opposition caucus in the history of the legislature.

Our Party’s history began here in this legislature in 1994 where we only had one representative, that being the inimitable Hon. Eddie Trent.  The fact that there are now 10 MPL’s and a permanent delegate to the NCOP is an enormous credit to what he achieved in the five years he served here as a lone MPL and what our predecessors achieved in the past 20 years.

The DP and the DA have always punched well above their so called weight division in this house and our performance in the 2014 election is testimony to our tireless and consistent presence as a party that prides itself in being the best opposition we can be.

I can assure this house, the public present today and the people of the Eastern Cape that we will continue to be a scrupulous opposition that will hold the executive and their departments to account for the duration of this term of office.

I also wish to place on record that this amazingly diverse, talented and competent team of public representative will fulfill our oath of office and offer even more muscular opposition oversight and plausible alternatives to the current government than ever before. Their presence here today is testimony to their hard work growing the DA’s support in all communities across this Province, Well done!

I would also like to pay tribute to our colleagues who served here before and who weren’t elected as well as those who worked so hard as candidates who weren’t elected, we have arrived here on the back of their herculean efforts. Thank you.

I would also like to congratulate Hon. Phumulo Masualle on being nominated by his party as the Premier candidate for the Eastern Cape. I also wish to remind you of the words of William Shakespeare from Henry the 4th. “Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown”.

You will no doubt also appreciate that your tenure has begun with an ominous cloud hanging over your head and crown.

The passing of our beloved and iconic former President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela and his subsequent funeral has been regrettably blighted by scandalous corruption that has not only cost this province dearly it has brought its name and that of the ANC into disrepute.

The half page “advert” placed in yesterday’s daily dispatch entitled “Provincial treasury fact on the State funeral of the late first democratic State President” can only be described as shameful and a feckless attempt to whitewash wholesale disregard and flagrant disrespect of legislative prescripts by the very people responsible for upholding proper financial and procurement regulations in this province.

You Sir, will have to answer to this house how you came to be the recipient of between R300 000 and R500 000 in your own personal bank account. What happened to that money and what will happen to those responsible for all the irregular and unlawful expenditure and transactions in the name of the late President Nelson Mandela.

If you can’t or don’t explain to everyone’s satisfaction how all of this happened and what action will be taken, you sir, will become mired in similar controversy that surrounds the person that appointed you, President Jacob Zuma. You can bet your job on the fact that this DA caucus will do all we can to get to the bottom of this untenable and embarrassing fiasco.