By Matlhodi Maseko MPP, DA Western Cape Spokesperson on Human Settlements:
Statement in the House, 07 May 2015:
As citizens of South Africa, we are the custodians of our constitution. It clearly spells out the values of our society. As such it is a legal as well as a moral framework that espouses freedom, equality and human rights.
The tendency towards thinking derogatorily about others has reared its ugly head again in South Africa. As such we are witnessing acts of violence against fellow Africans.
We have been celebrating our freedom for twenty-one years in South Africa. We have a framework for this freedom, in our constitution. Every person living in South Africa has a right to freedom and the responsibility to uphold the framework that allows it; irrespective of gender, ethnicity, nationality or race.
To safeguard this framework, we have the rule of law. When we are faced with instances of people breaking the laws founded on our constitution, those people must be punished within the ambit of the law. This is how our constitutional democracy safeguards itself against corrosion.
Yet the ANC is not applying it.
We are seeing criminal acts of looting, public violence and murder.
Tragedies and regret can be spoken about by making sense of them through generalisations, prejudices and stereotypes.
Let me express just how tolerant are we of criminality in our society: Land is grabbed illegally and we call it land invasion – sensationalising it as if it is a nicety. Statues and other public monuments are vandalised and it is labelled as freedom of expression. In both cases, our National Government blames apartheid.
The ANC Government’s response to the criminality, which goes along with intolerance, is no different.
While criminals are publicly executing our African brothers and sisters, President Jacob Zuma simply says that South Africans are still angry about apartheid.
Here’s the reality, we have a hand full of people who are breaking the law and violating our constitution, to incite public violence in South Africa. We must not tolerate it, these people are criminals and they must be dealt with accordingly.
Our nation is in crisis. When will the National Government take steps to deal with the real issues that our society faces? When will President Jacob Zuma stop blaming apartheid and start making a difference?
And in the meantime, when can we expect a crackdown on crime?