Mmusi Maimane launches Build One SA ‘to rescue country same way Moses saved Israelites’

Mmusi Maimane has launched his new political formation, Build One SA. Picture: File

Mmusi Maimane has launched his new political formation, Build One SA. Picture: File

Published Sep 26, 2022


Tshwarelo Hunter Mogakane

Pretoria - Former DA leader Mmusi Maimane has promised to rescue South Africa in the same way biblical Prophet Moses saved the Israelites from the iron grip of the Egyptian Pharaohs, fight corruption and work closely with Zimbabwean opposition leader Nelson Chamisa to topple that country’s ruling party, Zanu-PF.

Maimane, who resigned as DA leader in 2019, unveiled his plans at the launch of his new political formation, Build One SA (Bosa), in Soweto at the weekend. He pledged to make Bosa different from other political parties by focusing on education and job creation.

During his speech, which was well-received at the event, Maimane swung into his role as pastor, and compared himself to biblical Prophet Moses, who remains among inspiring political leaders within the Judo-Christian religions.

“I’ve fought against dictators. I was in Zambia when Edgar Lungu was there. I stood up and said ‘I stand with Hakainde Hachilema’. Today Hachilema is the president in Zambia.

“When the Malawian government rigged the elections I stood with Lazarus Chakwera. Today, Lazarus Chakwera is the president of Malawi. Next year I am going to Zimbabwe to make sure that when we work with Nelson Chamisa we can bring change in Zimbabwe.

“This has not been an easy decision. My family and I prayed for this country and said to ourselves we cannot remain on the sidelines … When I prayed I felt that Moses, who grew up in the system, understood what the system did, went out of the system, had to come back to the system and say to Pharaoh ‘Let my people go,” Maimane said.

The Zimbabwean embassy could not be reached for comment yesterday on Maimane’s plans to help remove President Emmerson Mnangagwa from power. However, not everyone is happy with Maimane invoking religion to boost his party’s political fortunes.

Yesterday, Unisa political analyst Dr David Letsoalo said it was not a good idea for the new Bosa leader to tread on religious ground. “His Moses comparison would only work for people who follow the religion of Christianity. This is a narrow and powerless sector of society. Many people do not want to see the combination of politics and the church.

“Many churches have, over the years, played the role of depoliticising followers of Christianity by treating politics as undesirable. His politics would not be separate from that of the ACDP, which misappropriates religion to gain narrow political interests.

“The political scene is not favourable to pastors because there are sentiments that they are best suited to remain on the pulpit,” said Letsoalo.

Parties such as Bosa were only taking advantage of the ANC’s decline, but were not forming any strong opposition, he said. “The current decline of the ANC, and the lack of a powerful opposition, simply mean that coalitions would dictate the nature of politics for now.

“The ANC is dying but it is not dead. Opposition parties are growing but they are not mature. This context has created space for the emergence of a coalition government and power sharing agreement. We are going to have unproductive coalitions and government partnerships for the foreseeable future, because the opposition is not strong enough to take advantage of the ANC’s decline.

“Rather than strengthening the opposition, figures such as Maimane and Hlaudi and their friends in Cope have merely added to the current confusion,” Letsoalo said.

Maimane’s Bosa outfit started off with a cold reception on social media, with some remarking that it resembled the defunct Bosasa company implicated in massive corruption at the State Capture Commission.

Most Twitter users rejected Bosa over Maimane’s refusal to condemn illegal immigrants or share afrophobic sentiments.

Speaking after the launch, Bosa’s Noluntu Hlazo said they were forced to form a new party because parliamentarians were dragging their feet in reforming the Electoral Act to allow independent candidates to stand for political office. In 2020, the Constitutional Court declared the Electoral Act unconstitutional because of the limits it imposed on independent candidates who have ambitions to be elected in general elections.

The court order was suspended for 24 months to allow parliamentarians to amend the act, but independent candidates are not happy with the proposed amendments and the delays in the process.

In 2018, independent politicians under the umbrella of the New Nation Movement had approached the Western Cape High Court with an application to have the Electoral Act declared unconstitutional.

Maimane’s new party has promised to be different from the 500 other political formations registered with the Independent Electoral Commission of SA (IEC). Bosa is set to focus primarily on education and job creation. It aims to help learners reach beyond a 50% pass rate in difficult subjects such as mathematics. “I want to put a job in every home in this country. I am not just standing for president; I want the best Cabinet in 2024,” Maimane promised.

It was unclear who Bosa’s funders were. However, billionaire Rob Hersov intimated that Maimane would start a political party instead of running as an independent candidate.

Hersov told podcaster, Penuel the Black Pen, that South Africa needed a coalition government that will most likely include Maimane.

“The DA, from 1994, has been there fighting the good fight (through) high standards, (service) delivery and making a difference. It expanded its reach across South Africa. They are now at 22%.

“One out of five voters in South Africa votes DA. So, the DA is there, but now we have new parties, Herman Mashaba of ActionSA, Gayton Mckenzie of Patriotic Alliance.

“Mmusi Maimane will hopefully enter the ring, and I would hope quite soon. I think he will start a new party. There are a lot of good options for people to consider.

“So, if you don’t want to vote for the DA or ActionSA, vote for Mmusi Maimane or vote Inkatha Freedom Party. There are lots of good options,” he said.

Pretoria News