Tatane killing a watershed - Helen Zille

Helen Zille
17 April 2011

DA leader says death could mark point of no return for ANC rule

The Hector Pieterson of his generation

Note to editors: This is an extract of a speech prepared for delivery at a public meeting in Namahadi which is part of the Mafube municipality in the northern Free State. Helen Zille's visit to the Free State comes days after a service delivery protestor, Andries Tatane, was shot and beaten to death by police in Ficksburg

Fellow South Africans,

The tragic events of the last week, not far from here in Ficksburg, will one day be seen as a watershed in our history.

The image of Andries Tatane being beaten and shot by the police is seared into our consciences. He committed no crime. All he did was protest against the collapse of service delivery in his town. The right to peaceful protest is protected by the constitution, so the police should have been protecting his rights, not following their "shoot-to-kill" orders. The fact that Mr Tatane was a COPE candidate standing for the May 18 election, adds a further sinister dimension to this tragedy.

At a time like this, we must recall Nelson Mandela's vision of a "rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world". We also remember his promise that "never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another."

We have to ask ourselves: Why has it come to this? And what does it mean for the future?

We have got to this point because the party in power has become disconnected from the people it is supposed to serve. The party is no longer of the people, by the people and for the people. It is for itself. The people just get in the way.

This is why people go without basic services for years and years. It is why, when people complain, their councillor doesn't listen. But it doesn't have to be this way. We can take a different path.

Andries Tatane's death does not have to be in vain. It should shock us all into making a different choice for our future. This is no time for political point scoring. It is a time for serious reflection across our nation of the implications of the images we saw this week. The tragedy of Andries Tatane's death is a warning we must heed.

And we must heed it in time. If we learn the right lessons from his tragic death, we can still stop our country sliding backwards towards the power abuse and police brutality of the past.

Unless the ruling party learns this lesson fast, the picture of Andries Tatane dying in the arms of his friend, Molefe Nonyane, will mark a point of no return for ANC rule, just as the picture of Hector Pieterson cradled in the arms of Mbuyisa Makhubo marked the turning point against apartheid rule.

The big difference between June 16 1976, when Hector Pieterson died, and 13 April 2011 when Andries Tatane died, is that South Africa is a constitutional democracy today. This means that each adult person has the power of their vote to call the government to account.

It is up to the people of South Africa to use that power to send the clearest possible signal that we will defend President Mandela's promise, and ensure that history does not repeat itself.

Issued by the Democratic Alliance, April 17 2011

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 responses to this article

Tatane Killing
Sharpville in instalments? Where next?

by Sam van den Berg on April 18 2011, 01:34
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Soviet Union
Just like the Soviet Union where despite the beautiful ideals of communism the party honchos lived in splendid harmony consuming French Champagne in their dachas while half the population froze to death. This happens when you put a party above the people.

by Fanjan on April 18 2011, 08:44
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Tatane's assault & killing, further illustrate parallels
between the oild NP & the new ANC. Remember Sharpeville? One reading of that, is
that a NP decision to shoot to kill was made, behind closed doors of course, to stop the defiance campaign. We all know the new ANC operates almost entirely behind . .more

by gab ok on April 18 2011, 09:27
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Shoot the bastards said then Minister Susan Shabanghu
Deputy security minister Susan Shabangu told police, 'I will not tolerate any P******* excuses'

Police in South Africa were ordered yesterday to deal with criminals by "killing the bastards".

Susan Shabangu, the country's security . .more

by Citizen on April 18 2011, 10:04
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The ANC murders
You also have to remember that places like Fickburg are in the ANC's farm killing belt. They encourage or turn a blind eye to the murder of farmers as a means to appease their voters. They cannot deliver services so they demonstrate their fight against a . .more

by The Clever Native on April 18 2011, 10:06
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The ANC speaks
Shoot the Boer! Shoot the farmer! Shoot the IFP marcher! Shoot the COPE candidate! Shoot the protestor! Shoot the bastards! Shoot to kill!

by Pieter Schoombee on April 18 2011, 10:36
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I didn't know he was a COPE candidate
This is the first time I have read it - was this mentioned by any other media ?

It is becoming apparent that the ANC is getting dangerous. The longer they stay in power, the harder it will become to remove them, as is the case with . .more

by Sad days on April 18 2011, 10:52
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yes, sad days, & have you noticed how the sabc & others have
kept any coverage of most COPE pre-election meetings, including Lekota 's immediate direct assistances at Ficksburg, simply airbrushed away from public view or consideration? That is, in addition to the highest level multiple anc interferences in COPE. . .more

by gab ok on April 18 2011, 11:04
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Shoot the voters = ANCpfDemopathy-in-action...(then sing "Shoot rhe Boers")...
...see my posts on related POLITICSWEB article:

Frans Cronje on 15 April 2011 (then . .more

by John Austin on April 18 2011, 11:11
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Gov backs defending shoot the boer song...

which is chilling. I remember those dreadful days when people in the townships were burned alive. Those necklacing days had our own mother of the nation saying that "with these matches we will burn the country down" then remember the the Stompie . .more

by Zinzi on April 18 2011, 11:37
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@gab OK
There was NO decision behind closed doors to shoot at Sharpville, that is pure ANC myth-making (Uncle Ben and his communist friends needed an excuse to stab Lutuli in the back and turn to violence). It was a mistake, just as the Tatane killing was a . .more

by Sam van den Berg on April 18 2011, 11:49
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@Sam van den Berg
your response makes for good reading, for which you should be thanked; generally, & wrt the position of Luthuli. However, just as there is little verification of a decision on Luthuli & what he represented, so there is an intuitive context which suggests . .more

by gab ok on April 18 2011, 12:13
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Tatane murder
Kakistrocracy in action!

by James Bell on April 18 2011, 12:36
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13 April 2011 ..... Andries Tatane Day
Public Holiday should be made of it to mark ANC hypocrisy and mismanagement.

by Klilling on April 18 2011, 19:32
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Tatane's case
Zilloe knows nothing about blacks history she must never compare Andries Tatane's murder with June16 1976

by Nutral on April 19 2011, 11:10
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SA Politics
im highly dissapointed by the SA Government as well as Bheki Cele. Since Bheki Cele came into power, yes the crime rate has gone down, but the police have become the criminals. Any criminal with a brain in his head would be scrared of the cops now. What . .more

by Confused on April 19 2011, 13:19
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Hout Bay was a watershed, Hell-in
Shooting peoples eyes out in HangKlip was a watershed...we won't forget

by Frank Speak on April 26 2011, 09:55
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