‘Zuma is still on top despite Nkandla,’ says DA’s Maimane

FRIENDLY ENEMIES:  Mmusi Maimane, Imaan Rappetti and Paul Mashatile pictured after a heated debate. Photo: Bongiwe Tutu

FRIENDLY ENEMIES: Pictured at the Wits Great Debate (from left to right), Mmusi Maimane, Imaan Rappetti and Paul Mashatile. Photo: Bongiwe Tutu

Corruption and race dominated discussions in the penultimate of the Great Debate series at Wits University last night.

The African National Congress (ANC)’s Paul Mashatile and the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) Mmusi Maimane took to the stage in front of a packed Great Hall divided between supporters dressed in blue and those in yellow.

“The DA has some black members, but the black people in the DA aren’t good enough to go to parliament,” argued Gauteng ANC chair Mashatile.

Maimane responded to the lack of black DA MPs (members of parliament) by saying, “we haven’t said we’d reward cadres. We’ve said we’d reward the best, based on skill.”

Editor of The Star newspaper, Makhudu Sefara, who was part of the audience at the debate, noted that the DA “skilfully avoided questions of race and accountability, leaving the ANC to over-capitalise on it”.

The high levels of corruption was also addressed when an audience member criticised the ANC for its lack of transparency, citing Nkandla and budget deficits as affecting the legitimacy of the government.

Maimane capitalised on the criticism when he said, “ANC says it scans its lists for people charged with corruption but Zuma is [still] on top despite Nkandla”.

Mashatile, in response, focused on Gauteng specifically by saying: “There is no corruption in Gauteng.” He went on to blame increased migration for the current budget deficit in the province.

The final leg of the debate series will take place tonight at Wits University starting promptly at 8pm. For tickets, click here.