Pres. Zuma’s budget vote debate: Pres. Zuma acting contrary to Constitution with his divisive comments

2015-05-26
Dr Pieter Mulder

President Zuma is eager to hand out history lessons. His comments, such as those on Africa Day when he said that there had been peace in Africa until ‘others’ arrived in the country, in which he clearly refers to whites, makes it clear that the president himself needs a history lesson.

In addition, the Constitution of South Africa requires the president to promote unity. With his divisive comments president Zuma is doing just the opposite, Dr. Pieter Mulder, leader of the FF Plus, said today during the budget debate of the president. The full speech of Dr. Mulder follows.

 

Speaker,

The President is keen to give me history lessons. He and I should one day sit and talk until we agree. It cannot wait until he’s retired, because he uses history daily in his speeches. Sunday at the Africa Day celebrations in Mamelodi, the President said in Zulu: “Africans lived in peace with each other and had fun -- but then the “others” came –which I will rather not mention by name.” The others disturbed the peace and harmony.

Honourable President, you are wrong. Were there no conflicts before the others (or the whites) came here?

For what is King Shaka remembered? He is remembered for having the long-shafted throwing assegai replaced with the short stabbing spear. He is remembered for the military horn-shaped pincer movement.

Did he use the short assegai to make barbeques for the Sotho and other smaller South African tribes? Did he use the horn-shaped pincer movement to surround the smaller tribes to give them clothes and food? No. It was used to kill and to wage war against black people.

You are calculatingly creating a wrong impression of the past. The “others” of which you speak, my ancestors, weren’t yet in the north of South Africa to disturb the peace and harmony at that time. (There’s a long list of such black-on-black conflicts.)

The Constitution specifies in Section 83 what the tasks of the President are:

a) He is Head of State, b) must uphold the Constitution and I quote: c) “promotes the unity of the nation”.

Not the unity of the ANC, unity of the nation. If the President continuously distorts history and speaks of “other” South Africans who came to disturb the peace and harmony, he breaches the Constitution which says he has to promote unity. In a country with so much conflict potential, it’s a serious charge against the President.

What do we expect of him?

When President Zuma declared Chris Hani’s grave a heritage site, he said: “Destroying statues flies in the face of the preservation of the history of the country.” I agree. That is leadership and promoting unity.

On 18 April this year the Freedom Front Plus held a meeting where the humiliation and destruction of the graves and statues of our ancestors were discussed. I’m talking of Gen. Fick’s grave, Paul Kruger’s and others. There we asked that the anger of our ancestors should not be directed at us, but that the anger and unhappiness be directed at those who insult them and so humiliate them. So I am asking this Assembly to watch in the future with me what is to happen to those in the EFF and in the ANC who encourage these acts.

Honourable President, here are more people in South Africa who want to build up rather than break down; here are more people who want to cooperate than want to divide. Let us use this positive energy rather than the negative.

 

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