'Change doesn't come from sitting down': DA marches against corruption

By Thembelihle Mkhonza Time of article published Apr 24, 2019

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JOHANNESBURG - Former Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Tony Leon on Wednesday joined other party leaders on a march against corruption through the Johannesburg city centre.

Leon, who was making his first public appearance at a protest march in 10 years, was accompanied by the DA's Gauteng premier candidate Solly Msimanga, and Phumzile van Damme, John Steenhuisen, Solly Malatsi and John Moodey.

“Change doesn't come from sitting down, it comes from standing up, be counted with the voices of change, march, speak to people, convince them and you get change,” said Leon. 

“I am behind all the voters who are fighting for change, they have all my support.”

Msimanga led the march from the department of social development offices to the Gauteng Premier David Makhura's office where they left hundreds of brown "bribe" envelopes at the doorstep.

“It is because there are too many brown envelopes being passed around in Gauteng, buying people's silence, bribing people to influence decisions about the awarding of tenders, and paying people off for their cooperation," said Msimanga.

He said under the African National Congress-led administration, the provincial government's business dealings with controversial facilities company Bosasa had increased by over 300 percent over the last five years, from R108 million to R430 million.

"In Gauteng R20 billion has been lost due to corruption, fruitless and wasteful expenditure. This money could have built five hospitals, 20 clinics, 30 schools and 77,000 houses."

Msimanga said there has been no one who has been held accountable for the corruption and that Premier Makhura has continued on the same road of corruption and destruction as that of his predecessors.

"The likes of former Health MECs Qedani Mahlangu and Brian Hlongwana are still free without facing any consequences for the crimes they have committed against the people of Gauteng.

"Despite its incredible potential, Gauteng is being held back by corruption, mismanagement and maladministration by the ANC government," said Msimanga.

"Corruption has stolen opportunities from our people and left them in despair."

He said these monies could have been used to stimulate the local economy in the province, create investment opportunities for local businesses and grow employment opportunities.

"Gauteng should be the Golden Opportunity Province - a place alive with possibility, where people can realise their dreams in a thriving economy, where there is a job in every home, people feel safe and secure in their communities and where people should not despair about what tomorrow will bring for their children.

"It can no longer be business as usual and we cannot tolerate that those who have stolen from the public and betrayed their trust can walk away with no punishment."

"A DA government will do things differently; we will ensure that corruption is exposed and that those responsible are prosecuted and sent to jail," added Msimanga.

African News Agency (ANA)

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