Zuma must denounce Trump’s disgraceful 'Muslim Ban' – Mmusi Maimane

DA leader says president must join growing list of leaders who have denounced US president

President Zuma must stand up for Human Rights and denounce Trump’s disgraceful “Muslim Ban”

30 January 2017

The Democratic Alliance (DA) calls on the President of the Republic, Jacob Zuma, to act in line with our Constitutional values and against intolerance by joining the ever-growing list of World Leaders who have denounced US President Donald Trump’s decision to ban all citizens from seven majority Muslim countries in the Middle East and Africa from entering the US, including a ban on all refugees.

The DA is unequivocally opposed to this ban, and we consider this action to be guided by prejudice, intolerance and bigotry. It is an affront to the values enshrined in our Constitution, and is diametrically opposed to the DA’s core principles of Freedom, Fairness and Opportunity for all.

As a country with one of the world’s most liberal and progressive Constitutions, we must be a leader on the African continent and across the world when it comes to protecting and promoting Human Rights. We must stand up in the face of oppression, because an affliction to the Human Rights of some, is an affliction to the Human Rights of us all.

We therefore urge President Zuma to communicate South Africa’s complete opposition to this ban to the US government, on behalf of the people of our country. In addition to this, we call on the African Union (AU) Summit – which is sitting this week – to also make an official statement rejecting this travel ban and in support of universal Human Rights.

Our painful history of division and hate should serve as a lesson for President Trump and all those who propose discrimination instead of unity. We are truly better together, united in our diversity.

In 1993, our nation’s father, Tata Nelson Mandela said these words: “Human rights will be the light that guides our foreign affairs”. Failure to denounce such bigoted and hateful behaviour by the leader of the United States means we are betraying Madiba’s legacy.

The ANC-led national government’s geopolitical allegiances has a long list of questionable figures. From Fidel Castro to Robert Mugabe, from Omar al-Bashir to Joseph Kabila, from King Mswati III to Vladimir Putin. It is high time that South Africa’s diplomatic ties and geopolitical direction is based on principle, not patronage. This starts with standing up to Trump’s prejudice and intolerance.

The DA is committed to a foreign policy that is consistent and rooted in fact and principle; a foreign policy that takes South Africa and the world forward, promotes liberal democracy and protects individual human rights. We thus call on President Zuma to follow suit.

Issued by Mmusi Maimane, Leader of the Democratic Alliance, 30 January 2017