DA leader Helen Zille. File photo: Dumisani Dube

Bloemfontein - No public official in the Democratic Alliance would survive a track record such as that of the ANC's Free State health MEC Benny Malakoane, DA leader Helen Zille said on Tuesday.

“Dr Malakoane would be fired,” Zille told party members at the announcement of the DA's governance plans for the Free State.

Malakoane was arrested in July on charges of corruption and fraud involving about R13 million, with five other people.

The charges relate to crimes allegedly committed while Malakoane was the municipal manager at the Matjhabeng local municipality in Welkom.

Zille told the gathering the DA had called for Malakoane's suspension.

“But in [President Jacob] Zuma's ANC the corrupt are safe,” said Zille.

In Zuma's government, if “number one does not face any charges, why should anyone else suffer?”.

Free State citizens knew about the issues around Zuma and Malakoane because they were in the open.

Zille urged voters to make sensible choices about what they wanted for themselves, their children and others.

Referring to the track record of parties in the coming general election, Zille said the issue was not race-related.

“It is how do we deliver proper services such as water, sewerage, right through to education and health which was of real quality for all people,” she said.

Replying to questions, Zille said the DA was now a governing party and not just an opposition party.

“We no longer call for a stronger opposition,” she said. The DA now said vote for a new government.

This was the reason for the DA's open candidate lists.

“A new government, who are they? We need all our candidates out there to show people who would lead them,” she said.

The ANC did not tell voters for whom they would be voting.

“They give one name, Jacob Zuma. Look at his record.”

She said that compared to the DA's open lists, the ANC had a closed, corruptible system, which mostly looked after the leadership's family and friends.

“Leaders are unknown before elections in the ANC. It depends on the leadership clique at the top.”

Free State premier candidate and leader Patricia Kopane told the gathering the province needed a clean and corruption-free government.

She said that under the leadership of former presidents Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki, South Africa had moved forward.

“The DA wants to continue along that road to make sure that everyone has a chance at success in South Africa.”

Kopane said the Free State had lost 99,000 jobs in the past 10 years.

“We have gone backwards. We are the only province where every year more people are unemployed.”

She said the DA would double its support in the province during the coming elections.