ANC Mob Stones Pieterson, Babuseng Families At Human Rights Event [press release]

An ANC mob has stoned a bus carrying the families of Hector Pieterson, Tsepho Babuseng and myself.

The attack took place enroute to the Sharpeville memorial to honour all those who have lost their lives protesting for basic human rights in South Africa.

We were on our way to meet Sharpeville residents to lay wreaths together as families who lost their children to the bullets of police, from Sharpeville in 1960, to Soweto in ’76, to Durban Deep in Roodepoort, just this January.

We were forced to retreat out of fear for our lives and safety when the only intention was to complete the wreath-laying to honour this national commemoration day.

The mob was part of an ANC contingent that had blocked streets to the memorial precinct as Jacob Zuma arrived this morning.

Even as we honour the lives that were lost in Sharpeville out of protest against the dompas, today freedom of movement and association has been violated.

To be stoned by a reckless ANC mob in this way on Human Rights Day is the highest form of disrespect to the struggles of the past and the present.

The stoning of these families who have lost so much to the struggle, past and present, demonstrates the total lack of respect by Zuma’s ANC for the basic human rights of South Africans.

Who are these thugs that govern us? Who are these people who commit the most grand corruption symbolized by Nkandla and then, without shame, attack families who have felt genuine loss in the everyday struggles of South Africans?

The tragedies these families have faced may be separated by time and space, but they are all united in the struggle for human rights.

We know that even in our constitutional democracy the rights that previous generations fought for under Apartheid have not been fully realized.

We know that even today the struggle for basic services, education and freedom continues.

No one in South Africa today should have to face the tragedy that these families have all faced.

Under Presidents Mandela and Mbeki we saw economic progress made and the lives of millions improve.

But that progress is now being reversed under President Zuma who presides over rising corruption, unemployment, and disregard for the rule of law.

Almost every day in Gauteng we see protestors taking to the streets for their basic rights.

We also see an increasing trend of calls for service delivery being met with live ammunition from the police, and the bullets of the ANC as well as witnessed in Sebokeng and Bekkersdal recently.

The fight is still within the people of South Africa to rise up against this rule of bullets.

There are many similarities between the struggles of the past and the present. But today there is one major difference.

Today, because of the sacrifices of those before us, we have the opportunity to choose change peacefully.

On 7 May we can choose a path of jobs and opportunities for all, or we can choose another 5 years of corruption, thuggery and unemployment under Zuma’s ANC.

Together we can bring about this change. Together we can defeat the evils of police brutality and the violations of basic human rights by our present leaders.

This is an opportunity for a new generation to rise, we must not waste it.

Mmusi Maimane, DA Premier Candidate for Gauteng

Source : Democratic Alliance