DA leader Mmusi Maimane was embroiled in a heated argument with Deputy Police Minister Bongani Mkongi’s Chief of Staff, Jabu Mfusi, while leading a march to Nyanga police station yesterday.
Cape Town - DA leader Mmusi Maimane has ducked and dived on questions about whether Western Cape Premier Helen Zille was undermining him, as suggested by former MP Lindiwe Mazibuko.

Mazibuko spoke at the Marie Claire Power Summit embracing Mandela Day this week, and her topic was “Speaking Politics: A Crash Course in Being in Power”. She reportedly told the gathering that Zille had often failed at nurturing new leadership, saying the embattled Zille had undermined her and was doing the same thing to Maimane.

The Cape Times caught up with Maimane at a march from Manenberg to Nyanga Police Station on Thursday, where the DA called for the army to be deployed in crime-ridden areas. He declined to comment on Mazibuko’s statements and hastily walked away.

“I'm here to talk about the army. I don't comment on other things. I'm here to talk about the army, I'm here to talk about the safety of the people,” Maimane said.

Mazibuko had said: “I want you to remember that women pulling each other down, women undermining each other in public is not something that happens among little girls on the playground. It happens in corporate, it happens in different organisations and it happens in politics I’ve seen both sides of the coin and I know how important inter-generational mentoring and teaching is. This is how we get more young people and more young people in power,” she said.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane dodged questions about whether or not Helen Zille was undermining him in the same way Lindiwe Mazibuko claimed she had been undermined. Video: Francesca Villette

She was also quoted as saying: “This narrative that we must be threatened by each other and each other's success, or either claim each other's success or destroy each other's success, is one of the great limitations on women's success in public office.”

Zille’s office did not respond to requests for comment on Thursday.

About 800 people attended the march yesterday where the DA wanted to hand over a memorandum to Deputy Minister for Police Bongani Mkongi. But Mkongi accused Maimane of using the event for politicking, and called him a hypocrite.

Mkongi said the army by nature was a more brutal force, in that they do not carry rubber bullets or pepper spray, and instead carried machine guns. “Take your memorandum back to the DA office, we are not going to accept it. Maimane, you are a hypocrite,” he said. He also accused the DA of bussing in coloured people to the event yesterday to sow racial divisions in the country.

Maimane was later embroiled in a heated argument with officials from Mkongi’s office who told him to leave the area. Maimane said people across Cape Town live in fear of gangs and violence without getting the same police resources as the rest of the country.

“Why must this community here in Nyanga - the murder capital of South Africa - share one police officer between 628 residents while the average for the country is one officer for every 369 people? Why is it that the entire City of Cape Town, at one officer per 560 people, has far fewer police than the rest of South Africa? 

"And why has Cape Town’s ratio deteriorated so much since 2016, when it was one officer per 439 people?”ANC provincial secretary Faiez Jacobs said they had observed a worrying trend around Maimane of “hiding and burying” his head in the sand when the country was having serious conversations.

“This may explain his ignorance around this issue of a military option on gang hotspots. Most experts agreed, led by Professor Theo Neethling from Free State University that the "SANDF is primarily for fighting external enemies".

"What this province and city needs is to use the R60 million allocation to fight gang hotspots more genuinely and effectively and not as yet another contract for DA friends to put frivolous devices that do not stop crime.”

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Cape Times