To enjoy the full Mail & Guardian online experience: please upgrade your browser
04 Apr 2009 07:37
Lies and untruths form the basis of an attack on the Freedom Front Plus (FF Plus) by Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Helen Zille over the assertion that Afrikaners are the only whites who are truly African, FF Plus leader Pieter Mulder said on Friday.
“She owes me, the FF Plus and the voters of South Africa an apology,” he said in a statement.
Mulder said the FF Plus did not attend the meeting where African National Congress (ANC) president Jacob Zuma told representatives of Afrikaner agricultural, women’s and cultural organisations that, of all the white groups in South Africa, it was only the Afrikaners who were “truly South Africans
in the true sense of the word”.
The ANC, meanwhile, was “appalled” at the opposition parties reaction to Zuma’s “highly successful engagement” with Afrikaner leaders.
It denied that there was anything unconstitutional or divisive in his statement. In asserting that Afrikaners were the only whites who did not have links to other countries, he was “merely stating a fact”, it said in a statement.
“Zuma has paid tribute to Afrikaners for the role they have played in the reconstruction of the country.
He has also done the same when he met other minority groups.”
Zille has described Zuma’s reference as an insult to Afrikaners.
“It is the well-known ‘divide and rule’ tactic, which authoritarian racist governments always use to divide their opponents,” she said.
However, she has in turn been accused by Mulder of making “shockingly untrue statements”.
Her claim that the FF Plus was sucking up to the ANC rather than confronting it was a lie, he said.
“Did the FF Plus suck up to the ANC when the FF Plus took the ANC government to the Constitutional Court to fight for the right of South Africans to vote abroad? Or when the FF Plus approached the Electoral Court to keep Winnie Mandela out of Parliament? The answer is no.”
She was also lying in her contention that the FF Plus “begs for the rights of voters from the ANC rather than claiming those rights”.
“The central theme of the FF Plus in this election is precisely to say very clearly that the FF Plus stands up for your rights.
busy increasing,” said Mulder.
“It’s pity that the DA under the leadership of Ms Zille is now again, like all previous elections, attacking the opposition rather than the ANC,” he said.
“It is a short-sighted tactic which testifies of the uttermost opportunism.
“Ms Zille would not today have been Mayor of the City of Cape Town or would have led any coalition in Cape Town or anywhere else, if it had not been for other opposition parties which she is now consistently attacking and casting suspicion on. Voters should take note of this dishonesty and opportunism.”
In her letter, Zille said Zuma had patronisingly tried to “curry favour” with white Afrikaners.
“Zuma thought he was flattering Afrikaners. He was actually insulting them,” she said.
The implication of his message was: “By seeming to flatter, I can actually fool you all into forgetting about the corruption allegations against me. By pressing the ethnic button, I can also distract your attention from the ANC’s power abuse.”
Zille called this an “outrageous insult” to every Afrikaner.
In its statement, the ANC said Zuma had paid tribute to Afrikaners for the role they had played in the country’s reconstruction—as he had also done in talks with other minority groups.
The meeting had given him an opportunity to hear Afrikaner leaders’ concerns and views across a wide spectrum of industries and cultural groupings.
Focus areas ranged from agriculture, the media, church and Christianity to Afrikaner youth, women’s issues, culture, language, crime, education, arts, sciences, the legal profession, game farming, broad-based black economic empowerment and affirmative action.
“Delegates respectively proclaimed their identity as boere, Afrikaners or Afrikaans-speakers,” the party said.
“Delegates generally extended gratitude and appreciation to the ANC and to Zuma for recent new initiatives to reach out to Afrikaners and asked the ANC president to seriously address problem areas that affected Afrikaners.
“Afrikaner leaders hailed Zuma for demonstrating unprecedented leadership, commending him for setting aside time during campaigning to hold a meeting with them.”
The ANC said it valued everyone’s contribution in the reconstruction and development of South Africa.—Sapa
Create Account | Lost Your Password?