Johannesburg - The Democratic Alliance's lists of candidates for the May 8 general election represent the rich diversity of the country and are diverse in every sense, unlike other political parties, DA federal executive chairman James Selfe said on Saturday.
Speaking to journalists at a press conference on Johannesburg, Selfe said the DA's lists, presented to the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC), showed the DA to be the "only party that remembers and practices the late president Nelson Mandela’s vision of One South Africa for All".
"There isn’t another party that engages in such a thorough process in the selection of representatives for the people. We can safely say that the South Africans we are nominating to go to the National Assembly and the nine provincial legislatures are the best and most capable, who will carry the hopes of the people of the country.
"This is in stark contrast to the current majority party [African National Congress] which has nominated people who, frankly, belong in prison and not parliament," he said.
South Africans would have, until the end of the month, an opportunity to object to the lists of political parties when the IEC published all the party lists. This highlighted the beauty of South Africa's democracy, where the people nominated to lead were vetted by the people who vote.
"In this regard we have uploaded our lists as submitted to the IEC on our [DA] website for public scrutiny. Indeed, our lists represent the rich diversity of our beautiful country. Our lists are diverse in every sense – race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, skills set, geography, class, and the blend between youth and experience. When the people of South Africa look at the DA lists they will see themselves. No other party can claim to represent all South Africans," Selfe said.
"As difficult as the task of Building One South Africa for All is, we remain committed to it. We will not be sidetracked by racial nationalists – black and white – nor will we be deaf to the constitutional call which states that 'South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity'.”
The DA had put forward the country’s best representatives who would champion the need to Build One South Africa for All. Between now, election day, and beyond, they would campaign and work to ensure that there was a job in every home, corruption was stopped, the country’s borders were secure, people were kept safe by an honest and professional police service, and the delivery of basic services accelerated.
"Despite South Africa’s hard-won freedom there are still too many people who suffer unnecessarily because the current government has chosen to put its interests ahead of almost 58 million people. This is highlighted by the testimony coming out of the Zondo Inquiry into state capture, and the high-level review panel on the State Security Agency.
"The last 20 years of our democracy have been characterised by ‘Big Man Politics’, unmitigated and unashamed corruption, aided and abetted by the ANC. This has been a blight on the country’s democracy, which was bought at a great price. It is for this reason and others, why the DA leader Mmusi Maimane has called upon the new National Director of Public Prosecutions advocate Shamila Batohi to criminally charge the ANC as a racketeering enterprise.
"South Africa cannot afford another five wasted years. The people of this country cannot afford to pay for the ANC’s corruption. People who have contributed to the decline of this country have been awarded with cabinet positions as opposed to being held to account.
"The 2019 general elections, like the 2016 local government elections, will show that change is possible or in the words of the late former president Nelson Mandela, 'it always seems impossible until it is done',” Selfe said.
African News Agency/ANA