ANC blocks motion praising Zille's world mayor award

Statement issued by the Democratic Alliance October 22 2008

ANC running scared: blocks motion acknowledging 2008 World Mayor Award

The ANC's decision today to use its majority in the National Assembly to block a Democratic Alliance (DA) Motion without Notice [text included below] acknowledging DA Leader and Cape Town Mayor, Helen Zille's achievement in winning the 2008 World Mayor Award is both underhanded and highly contemptible.

That the ANC would deny us the opportunity to accord the Leader of the Opposition due honour in this regard shows a pettiness that is deeply unparliamentary. It also illustrates the lengths to which the majority party is willing to go in order to hide what is increasingly clear both to the fractured ANC and to the opposition: that the ruling party is slowly losing its grip on power as more and more South Africans begin to see for themselves that the DA really does deliver.

While the DA's decision to put forward this motion was an attempt to honour a person of great integrity and courage, whose hard work and dedication have garnered international acclaim of the kind all South Africans can be proud of, the ANC's resolution to block this motion was clearly politically motivated.

As grounds for its decision to block the motion, the ANC twice claimed that it had not yet had the chance to read it; yet it is common practice in Parliament that motions without notice need only be submitted by 12h00 on the day in which they are to be presented to the House. The DA submitted this motion, along with 2 others, just after 09h00 yesterday morning, and we received no objections to it from other political parties.

In the end, this brazen attempt by the majority party to intimidate the DA into backing out of presenting a perfectly legitimate and apolitical motion, honouring one of South Africa's favourite daughters, has defeated the very purpose it was intended to achieve, for there has never been clearer proof that Helen Zille and the Democratic Alliance have the ANC running scared.



I move without notice, that the House;

    1. notes that Cape Town Mayor and leader of the Democratic Alliance Helen Zille was awarded the 2008 World Mayor award on Tuesday, 14 October 2008;
    2. further notes that this award, launched by the international urban-affairs think tank City Mayors is aimed at recognizing mayors who have made long-lasting contributions to their communities and are committed to the well being of their cities nationally and internationally;
    3. recognizes that she beat 820 nominees from all over the world making this a truly remarkable achievement;
    4. acknowledges the judging panels statement that "The Mayor of Cape Town has dedicated her professional life to further the wellbeing of all sections of South African society. She has done so with courage, tenacity, and, above all, a deep-felt love for Cape Town, her country and its people;
    5. congratulates Helen Zille not only on this great honour that has been bestowed on her but for placing Cape Town and the rest of the country in the international spotlight and for making the people of South Africa proud.

Statement issued by Ian Davidson, MP, Democratic Alliance chief whip, October 22 2008