KZN Unrest: The ANC owes the people of our province an apology

Issued by Francois Rodgers – Leader of the DA in the KZN Legislature
22 Jul 2021 in Press Statements

Martin Luther King Jr once stated “the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in the moment of comfort, but where he stands at the time of challenge and controversy”.

This could not be more true when looking at the anarchy and destruction within KwaZulu-Natal during the past week and the resultant job losses – all of which point to a direct failure of ANC leadership and are a direct result of ANC factionalism and poor leadership.

As King states, at a time of challenge and controversy the ANC-led government was nowhere to be found. To add insult to injury, it continues to spew rhetoric that what happened last week was criminal. Clearly it is in complete denial when what took place was nothing more than an attempted insurrection.

Having spent the last four days assessing the damage on the ground, it is clear that events were not purely criminal. The DA’s visit to Cornubia on Monday exposed the discovery of a detailed aerial photograph, which had marked out all surveillance cameras in the areas and further clearly marked businesses that were to be targeted.

There is also further evidence of numerous vehicles from the North West province in the area during the time of anarchy. This is not criminal activity. The attack on the chemical plant also saw all the surrounding fire hydrants destroyed. Can anyone with his or her mental faculties intact say this is criminal?

I also joined the provincial Legislature’s multi-party oversight tour to Kokstad. Not one window was broken, not one building was looted and there was no damage whatsoever. Kokstad was unscathed – a prime example of true patriotism. Kokstad stood united in its diversity in the face of adversity. Business, taxi associations, farmers, SAPS, private security and ordinary residents stood shoulder to shoulder to protect their town.

Juxtapose this with eThekwini and the failed leadership of Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda, who decided that it would be opportune to show his support for the architect of our misery – former President Jacob Zuma – at the height of the destruction of the city, rather than call for calm and the restoration for law and order. Patriotic support for Zuma in the eye of the storm rather than the people of eThekwini. Who the Mayor chooses to support is his democratic right, but the timing is clear evidence of his lack of true leadership ability.

Yesterday in council, the Mayor again displayed his immaturity and lack of intellect by comparing his poorly timed social media comments to that of recent DA Zuma must Fall protest in eThekwini. Is this man for real? Is he even able to think logically? eThekwini certainly wasn’t under attack during those peaceful anti-Zuma marches. There was absolutely no destruction in eThekwini because of them.

It is time the ANC did some deep and sober reflection, not only on their leadership but also on their now exposed factionalism which is destroying our beautiful province. The ANC owes the people of KZN an apology.

 Democratic Alliance Debate on the Legislature Intervention Programme aimed at Monitoring unrest incidents in KZN