DA leader Mmusi Maimane faced a difficult question while campaigning in Soweto on Wednesday morning, a day after a move failed in Parliament to remove President Jacob Zuma from office.
“If the president can get away with crime, then why can’t we, as the poor?” a resident asked the Democratic Alliance leader while he was walking through the Baragwanath taxi rank.
Maimane opted to give a tactful answer: “I understand your feelings. We must all register to vote. That is the only way we can make change.”
People told Maimane they were angry about what they called Zuma’s “sloppy” apology after the Constitutional Court ruled that he failed to uphold the Constitution when he did not follow through on Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s remedial actions.
“We are tired of this man. He has lied to us. He has betrayed the country and we cannot be ruled by a criminal,” Phakamile Mthethwa told Maimane.
Mthethwa said they had no motivation to be good citizens, because the Zuma was a criminal.
“If the man who is supposed to be an upstanding member of society robs us, why can’t I steal? We have nothing. We have schools that still have desks from the apartheid system. We want change,” he said.
Vuyelwa Memane, who has a stand at the taxi rank, told Maimane they had been tortured by Zuma and his “things” for years.
“He is rubbish. He is not my president. Enough is enough,” she told Maimane.
The DA leader’s reply was simple.
“Zuma must fall,” he said in agreement.