By Athol Trollip, DA Mayoral Candidate: Nelson Mandela Bay:
Members of the ANC have just disrupted and therefore prematurely ended a political debate in Nelson Mandela Bay, in which the crumbling state of our Metro was an important topic.
The debate was organised and moderated by the SABC.
Today’s total disregard for the freedom of speech by the ANC is an undeniable sign of the party’s unwillingness to answer to the people.
The DA condemns the ANC’s actions – their only group of supporters, who were from the ANC Women’s League, arrived late, in a belligerent way, strong-armed their way to the front row of the audience, and began to provoke members of the DA.
The ANC refused to take up the seats allocated to them and instead held the debate to ransom by aggressively shouting at and pushing all other political party members.
The DA and other political parties took the decision to leave the auditorium to avoid being obstructed and abused by arrogant and tardy ANC members.
The debate was cancelled, which meant that the people of South Africa were robbed, by the ANC, of an opportunity to engage in the political lead up to Election 2016.
It is a real tragedy that the ANC’s crusade to avoid accountability at all levels drags the rest of South Africa with it. Today is a sad day for our political discourse when the governing party avoids public scrutiny like this.
The ANC’s abandonment of freedom and fairness, is condemned in the strongest terms.
The DA will remain steadfast in its commitment to provide opportunities to all South Africans, and will ensure that we remain with the people and accountable, irrespective of the ANC’s illicit tactics.