President Jacob Zuma’s cattle in Nkandla have a better life than people living in Wentworth, south of Durban, DA leader Mmusi Maimane said on Tuesday morning.
Maimane was addressing a group of DA supporters in KwaZulu-Natal as part of his post-manifesto tour to encourage people to vote in the local government elections on August 3.
Maimane’s visit was met with mixed reactions.
Some 300 supporters met him with great excitement, while a small group of former DA members, who had defected from the party on Monday, met him with anger.
While the DA members sang party songs, the small group wearing ANC T-shirt’s disrupted the event by playing loud music in a bid to drown out the DA voices.
Before addressing the crowd, Maimane addressed the former DA members living in The Ark, a housing project on Austerville Drive.
Maimane inspected the dilapidated rat-infested building, which has no electricity. It also had water dripping from the roof.
When he walked out of the building, the gate had been locked by an angry ANC supporter, but was unlocked a few minutes later. The police monitored and separated the two parties.
A supporter told Maimane that they had defected from the DA on Monday.
They claimed that Human Settlement MEC Ravi Pillay had visited the housing project on Monday and committed to building the community a new housing project within 90 days.
Gelinda Williams, 43, who is one of the former DA members on the committee at The Ark, said: “Ninety-five percent of the residents are ANC and 5% are DA. We were DA, but the ANC was helping us. This building cannot be renovated, it needs to be demolished.”
Williams said 88 people shared one toilet and a shower.
“There is no ceiling or roof, we have been living like this for eight years and the ANC has given us a time span of 90 days for them to break this down, because the DA wanted to renovate, but this is a broken building. The ANC is going to deliver,” said Williams.
‘We defected because the ANC delivers’
Another ANC supporter, and former DA member, Denzel Usher said that Helen Zille had visited The Ark eight years ago and promised to demolish the building and build houses for them.
“We defected because the ANC delivers. We are going to move out of this building in 90 days, that is what the MEC said to us.”
Renita Fynn, who had also left the DA in favour of the ANC, said she believed the ANC would be able to deliver the houses.
“We were DA for many years, but all they did was make promises and walk in and out of our dilapidated building…”
KwaZulu-Natal Human Settlements spokesperson Mbulelo Baloyi said the MEC promised to provide park homes for families living in The Ark. “He did not promise them a new housing project,” said Baloyi.
Maimane told the crowd that the ANC did not care about ordinary South Africans.
“They have forgotten how the people live. I have been inside that place. It is not right that the people must live with rats. It is not right that people must live in a place where even President Jacob Zuma’s cattle have a better life than the people that are living here.”
Maimane said he was saddened that the disgruntled residents were complaining, but they were wearing ANC T-shirts.
“You can’t cry and then wear an ANC T-shirt. If you want to cry, cry at the ballot box and say that the ANC must go because this is no longer Nelson Mandela’s ANC, it is the African National Corruption.”
He encouraged community members to vote for the DA because ANC members were fighting amongst one another.
Maimane also criticised the ANC for allegedly handing out food parcels to try and woo voters.