DA national spokesperson Siviwe Gwarube. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
DA national spokesperson Siviwe Gwarube. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Forget interim government and use polls to enforce accountability, says DA

By Tarryn-Leigh Solomons Time of article published Apr 8, 2021

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Johannesburg - The official opposition says the most powerful way to enforce accountability in any constitutional democracy is to allow citizens to fire and hire a government of their choosing at the polls.

This statement by the party’s national spokesperson, Siviwe Gwarube, comes after UDM leader Bantu Holomisa earlier this week called for an “interim government”.

On Monday Holomisa suggested the ruling party relinquish power and an interim government run the country until the 2024 general elections.

Gwarube said the installation of an interim government was not provided for in the Constitution.

“However, provision is made for frequent free and fair elections to take place. That is why the DA is of the view that instead of calling for an interim structure to run the country before 2024; we must be guided by the IEC to proceed with the local government elections that will provide South Africans the right to choose public representatives who will be accountable to them. The same must be done with the 2024 national elections.”

IFP chief whip Narend Singh said Holomisa’s call made no sense.

“There’s an electoral process that needs to be followed so this makes no sense. One would probably have to meet with him to gain a better understanding of what he meant, but as the IFP, we don’t support this call.”

ANC MP Dibolelo Mahlatsi described the call as “laughable”.

Mahlatsi said the call was misinformed, misguided and opportunistic.

“Tragically, this past weekend, we woke up to misinformed, misguided and opportunistic calls by the erstwhile Bantustan Transkei leader Bantu Holomisa calling for an interim government. Laughable as this call was, it proved the rich Xhosa saying that uHolomisa uvukwe likakade.”

Mahlatsi suggested that the UDM leader had been catapulted into power through a coup, and could not function in a democratic system.

“His latest stunt of a coup via the back door calls of a so-called ‘interim government’ cannot be left unchallenged. Based on flimsy evidence and frivolous claims, Holomisa wants the judiciary, supported by the Constitutional Court, to take over the government and establish what he terms ‘an interim government’.

“In a country where you have regular elections deemed free and fair by various bodies including the Electoral Commission of SA, how can you arbitrarily call for such an establishment?” Mahlatsi questioned.

She continued to fire back at Holomisa’s call and said it was dangerous for an esteemed member of Parliament to lobby for the Constitutional Court to become an active agent in staging illegitimate coups, thus undermining the Constitution and the will of the people of South Africa.

“Holomisa needs to be reminded that Article 130 of the AU Constitutive Act stipulates that ‘Governments which shall come to power through unconstitutional means shall not be allowed to participate in the activities of the union.’

“Perhaps Holomisa needs to be reminded that the public representatives who occupy the benches in the National Assembly, that he also occupies, are legitimate members of that august house.”

Mahlatsi said that as the country’s democracy was now maturing, Holomisa should not go back to the old days of autocratic rule.

“In closing, having defeated the worst example of apartheid colonialism, we have to strengthen our efforts in ensuring that we use 2021 to focus the nation on real challenges such as the stubborn and pervasive nature of racism in our midst as we mark the 20th anniversary since South Africa hosted the World Conference Against Racism in Durban.

“Holomisa needs to refocus his party to deal with these challenges and stop playing childhood pranks and gimmicks,” Mahlatsi said.

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Political Bureau

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