The DA chief whip, John Steenhuizen, who has been in Kimberley, addressed the media at the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature. Picture: Norma Wildenboer/African News Agency (ANA)
Kimberley - The ANC and corruption are "bedfellows". This is according to DA chief whip John Steenhuisen, who has been in Kimberley this week.

Steenhuisen addressed the media at the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature on Tuesday after the press conference that was scheduled to take place in front of the ANC offices in the city’s CBD was moved at the last moment after alleged “threats” by the ANC.

The ANC in the Northern Cape on Monday evening released a statement regarding the planned press briefing in front of the ANC provincial office.

“We see this (the planned press briefing) as nothing but an attention-seeking stunt from a DA that has no campaign strategy and is rather wanting to provoke members and supporters of the ANC. This is cheap politicking by the DA and we will protect the provincial headquarters of the ANC by all means. The DA should take full responsibility for what will happen outside the ANC office,” ANC provincial secretary Deshi Ngxanga said in the statement.

Ngxanga also called on ANC members and supporters to gather at the party’s provincial office “as we wait for the DA press briefing”.

The press briefing was, however, moved to the legislature on Tuesday and it took place without any disruptions

The briefing was attended by Steenhuisen, DA Northern Cape provincial chairperson; Harold McGluwa, DA member in the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature; Boitumelo Babuseng, DA Team One SA spokesperson on immigration; Jacques Julius and DA Team One SA spokesperson on jobs, Geordin Hill-Lewis.

Steenhuisen emphasised that the press briefing was “not “ a random act or sensationalist publicity stunt, but rather an opportunity to highlight the point that “the ANC and corruption are bedfellows”.

“Not only is the vile act of corruption illegal, it is also one of the most immoral and selfish acts because it steals from the people, especially those oppressed by poverty and unemployment. Corruption’s victims are mothers who can’t feed their children. Corruption’s victims are the elderly who have been on the housing waiting list since 1994. Corruption’s victims are young people who cannot find work. It is for this reason that we have placed stopping corruption as a key election offer,” Steenhuisen stated.

“Billions of rand meant for development often ends up in the pockets of uncaring and corrupt ANC officials, who have put themselves before the people’s needs. We, as the DA, are committed to stopping this practice.”

Steenhuisen added that while the ANC might have a new president and a new slogan, “it is still the same political party that it was under former provincial chairperson and convicted criminal John Block” and also “the same political party that was captured under the close watch and assistance of former president Jacob Zuma”.

“There are too many people within the failing ANC and the administration of the ANC government that have gotten their hands dirty. Just like the red sand of the Northern Cape, this dirt leaves a stain that will not come clean, no matter how much Ramaphoria you pour on it.

“The liars and looters have gone nowhere. The looting of state resources has also not stopped and will never stop under the leadership of the failing ANC.

“As the ANC fights its own demons and faces the very real threat of being pushed out of the governing seat of this country, and this Province, the party becomes more and more desperate to retain power at all costs. In effect, the looting of the state continues to escalate. It escalates to ensure an evergreen slush fund that the ANC can use to buy votes. It also escalates so that the connected elite can fill up their personal coffers because they know that their time to make a living off money intended to improve health care, to fight crime and to stimulate the economy is quickly coming to an end.”

Steenhuisen added that “the ANC elite are becoming violent as they frantically try to cover up their tracks so that they can continue plundering scarce state resources”.

He said that recent incidents of assault against DA members, allegedly by ANC members, was an example of this.

“If we ask ourselves why the ANC does not act against such blatant corruption, the answer is simple - the failing ANC is no more intent on fighting corruption now than it was pre-Ramaphosa. There is too much at stake for the ANC. Staying in power is everything to them.

“Tackling corruption, that implicates countless ANC elites, will do little to unify the ANC at this vote-tipping point in time. The ANC therefore can’t take this country anywhere but down. Under their leadership, more and more funds will be wasted on corruption and less and less money will be available for critical services and grants.

“In contrast, only the DA can build ‘One South Africa For All’,” Steenhuisen said,

He concluded by saying that the ANC in the Northern Cape was “vulnerable” and that the DA was upbeat and positive about “taking the Province” in the 2019 elections, with more visits to the Province by DA bigwigs being planned before the elections.

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