Johannesburg - ActionSA leader and former Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba have called on business owners and residents in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, who are affected by the mass riots and looting, to join their lawsuit against the government and the ANC.
Mashaba said there had been no class-action lawsuit against the government during the country’s democratic years.
ActionSA had decided to lead the lawsuit in order to send a long term message to those in power “that we will always hold them to account”.
In a virtual media briefing, Mashaba said ActionSA’s legal team would act pro bono for all those who joined the lawsuit.
The political party plans to sue President Cyril Ramaphosa, Police Minister Bheki Cele, members of the security cluster and the ANC following the looting and lawlessness that is terrorising terrorised residents and businesses across KZN and Gauteng.
ActionSA has launched a webpage where affected individuals and businesses owners can share their experiences and join the legal action.
“We will then engage those cases which provide the greatest chances of success against Ramaphosa and the executive on behalf of South Africans.
“The legal action we are embarking on will be the first of its kind in democratic South Africa and will seek to finally hold the ruling government to account for its poor governance.
“We believe that there is more than sufficient jurisprudence that merits this a strong test case, and assists us in holding the government to account for its wilful failure to ensure proper law enforcement and the protection of lives, livelihoods and property,” Mashaba said.
While large sections of KZN and Gauteng witnessed the destruction of private and public property, the end of businesses and livelihoods, the breakdown of law and order, and the loss of life, Mashaba said the government “remained deadly silent and inactive” until it was too late.
He said that despite numerous opportunities, neither Ramaphosa nor Cele provided any real reason for their failure to take decisive and preventative action against the “co-ordinated criminality”.
“As South Africans, our pleas for assistance were met with silence until the situation was out of control. It was only on Monday, following several days of looting, that the president finally authorised the deployment of the SANDF – a move that was too little too late,” he said.
Mashaba said that the ANC would also be added to the class action lawsuit as the root of the violence was embedded in “corruption-fuelled factional battles within the ANC”.
He said the ANC was “a truly criminal organisation masquerading as a political party” and could not be allowed to walk away scot-free after endangering the people of South Africa.
All South Africans who have been negatively affected by the recent violence and looting can join the legal action by going to: https://www.actionsa.org.za/your-story.