DA leader Mmusi Maimane says it was the DA that first took up the fight with the ANC government about the conditions of psychiatric patients at Life Esidimeni.
DA leader Mmusi Maimane addresses DA members before unveiling a billboard in Johannesburg on 16 January 2019. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN
UMLAZI, DURBAN – Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane says his party will be meeting with the families of the victims of the Life Esidimeni tragedy who now plan to launch a legal battle over its controversial billboard.
Maimane was speaking on the sidelines of the Kasi-to-Kasi tour in Durban which is encouraging Umlazi residents to register to vote during the IEC’s last registration drive this weekend.
Maimane has also welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s signing of the Party Political Funding Bill, saying the legislation will safeguard opposition politics.
The DA leader says it was the DA that first took up the fight with the African National Congress (ANC) government about the conditions of psychiatric patients at Life Esidimeni, so it cannot be said that the party is politicking now.
“I’ll be engaging the families and I look forward to speaking to them because I’m deeply humbled by South Africans.”
So, the question now becomes if the DA plans to speak to the families of the victims of the Life Esidimeni tragedy and Marikana, why didn’t it just do that in the first place?
But Maimane is unable to give a direct answer.
“It’s not that the billboard suddenly is the beginning of this issue, the issue began when we asked the Gauteng government ‘why are you allowing patients to live in places such as this one?’. We’ve represented the people; we’ll continue to fight.”
#KasiToKasi @Our_DA leader @MmusiMaimane responds to questions about what the party will do now that the families of victims in the Life Esidimeni tragedy want to take the #DA to court for their billboard.He says they’ll engage with the families.ZN pic.twitter.com/imWk6Kg0gF
— EWN Reporter (@ewnreporter) January 23, 2019
Meanwhile, Maimane says he’s confident that there isn’t a single member of his party that will be implicated in the Bosasa scandal.
He says the Bosasa scandal has demonstrated that it wasn’t just former President Jacob Zuma who was corrupt but the ANC as a whole.
“I’m confident; the DA runs clean, open governments. We ensure that all our public representatives are accountable to the people.”
Maimane has called for 15 years’ imprisonment for corrupt politicians.
“I hope all the people who have been implicated in the Bosasa scandal find themselves in jail and that most seriously, we should stop putting people in Parliament, we should rather send them to prison.”
DA youth leader Luyolo Mphithi’s name appeared in a statement by Agrizzi’s son Giancarlo confirming that the pair entered into business together but they never did any work with Bosasa.
Maimane says he’s spoken to Mphithi and is satisfied with his response that there was never any wrongdoing.