Umzimkhulu, KwaZulu-Natal - People should not fear that the Democratic Alliance will bring back apartheid if the party came into power, leader Helen Zille said on Saturday.
“We will never bring back apartheid. In fact, people who think life was better under apartheid do not belong in the DA. We will never take away your grants or houses,” Zille said.
“We will only work to expand opportunities, grow the economy to create jobs for more people, fix the schools... deliver basic services better, and stop the corruption that steals money straight from the pockets of the poorest people.”
Zille was speaking at the welcoming of Jabulani Chiya to the party in Umzimkhulu, KwaZulu-Natal.
Chiya is a former African National Congress (ANC) member who ran independently in the municipal elections.
Zille said Chiya was part of the growing number of former ANC members and activists who were now joining the DA.
In her speech Zille referred to a letter from Lesego Setou, written to the Mail&Guardian on Friday entitled “fear of the unknown”.
Setou said that the reason why people stayed in toxic relationships was fear. They were afraid of the unknown and would rather stick with the known no matter how bitter, terrifying or unbearable it was.
“I realised how we have allowed the ANC to abuse us. We have rewarded the ANC with faith when it failed us with ever rising electricity tariffs,” the letter read.
“We have been with the ANC even when it cheated us in the form of corrupt public servants who squander our tax money. We pardoned the ANC for infidelity in the form of the arms deal and we are still pardoning the ANC for slapping us in the face with e-tolling.”
Setou said that a majority of black South Africans remain in a “toxic relationship” with the ANC and said they “have a fear of Helen Zille”.
“We fear to take a chance on her 1/8Zille 3/8 because of the colour of her skin, we fear the policies she has in store for us.”
However, Zille said there was nothing to fear as evidenced by the move of ANC members to the DA.
She said they have come to see that the DA was “the best hope for the future” of the country.
“Today, I am here with Jabulani Chiya to show that there is nothing to be afraid of in the DA,” she said.
“We want to build a future for South Africa where no one needs to fear the colour of another person's skin, as Mr Setou said -
because we all work for the betterment of one another, no matter who or what colour we are.” - Sapa