The ANC is not a sleeping dog of the DA - ANC WCape

Songezo Mjongile says legislature should not intercede on behalf of DA's efforts to rewrite history

ANC refuses to endorse failed DA campaign

The ANC says it cannot be part of the DA's attempt to sanitise history in order to artificially manufacture a party political campaign for the upcoming elections.

This follows a walkout of the Western Cape legislature yesterday afternoon (6 June 2013) when deputy speaker Piet Pretorius demanded ANC MPL Max Ozinsky withdraw a remark (of 9 May 2013) about the old PFP MP Helen Suzman who supported arms procurement from Britain by the apartheid regime to be used against other citizens.

Ozinsky refused to withdraw the interjection that Suzman supported the arms transaction and therefore wanted people to be killed.

ANC Western Cape secretary Songezo Mjongile says: "The ANC is not part of the DA's lies with smoke and mirrors in order to come up with a spin doctored version of the DA's history. The ANC is not a sleeping dog of the DA, but a watchdog of democracy. We will not be bullied into blind praise singing of Suzman or anybody else.

"If the DA wants to make a mockery of our democracy by cleaning up the legislature record in order to salvage the DA's failed electioneering campaign, the ANC will not be part of that. The DA notion that Suzman was a saint has been destroyed by various historians and other commentators of note."

The DA expects blind loyalty from all cosmetically alter the image of Suzman to suit the DA agenda and the DA together (with its leaders) is illiberally and unduly intolerant when it is criticised or the truth is told.

"The DA is desperate to salvage its ‘Know Your DA' campaign which is merely canonising Suzman which has come under severe attack. Now the DA wants to make the legislature part of that ill-considered attempt. The presiding officers are now also made partisan in a cheap and narrow party political agenda. It is even clearer that the Zille campaign to consecrate Suzman denies the role Afrikaner leaders like Dr Frederik van Zyl Slabbert played at the expense of worshipping an English liberal constituency.

"The DA tries to force the legislature as a multiparty institution into a DA mould and line. This dilutes the role and esteem of the legislature and the presiding officers. It is part of Zille's concerted effort to close down democratic space. This causes a crisis and in the Western Cape puts multiparty democracy in danger. The legislature operates under pressure.

"The ANC will not be part of that and will not support an inevitable selective attempt to claim a history to suit the DA campaign. The DA is wrong when it thinks it can determine public narrative by selective recollecting the lows of the apartheid era. We will never be intimidated by peace time heroes who bend history to suit their political objectives! True revolutionaries don't need a DA lackey like Pretorius to prove their worth!"

The ANC will take the matter further. The ANC will openly discuss the role and contribution of any individual in the struggle for our freedom. The ANC demands an urgent meeting of the rules committee where both presiding officers must be present for the matter to be resolved.

The ANC fought for the Bill of Rights and freedom of speech and will not allow the DA to take it away.

"We cannot allow such an attack on our freedom to speak and represent the views of our constituencies. We cannot sit still when the DA abuses its powers in the legislature. We cannot watch silently when a head of state can be criticised, but a late opposition leader may not! DA double standards are employed to bully the opposition. There cannot be privilege for some. The ANC cannot protect the lame DA campaign when it falls apart. Nor can we be blind to unfair and biased rulings in the legislature," Mjongile added.

Statement issued by Songezo Mjongile, ANC Western Cape provincial secretary, June 8 2013

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