Corruption Worse Under ANC, Leon Claims
It has been 10 years since the country became a democracy, but under the ANC, corruption keeps getting worse.
This was the message taken to corruption-tainted Mpumalanga yesterday when Democratic Alliance leader Tony Leon undertook a train trip to various towns in the province.
The towns visited were Kinross, Bethal and Ermelo, where he held election meetings on railway station platforms.
Leon detailed instances of unauthorised luxuries for senior municipal politicians, fraudulent use of taxpayer-funded cellphones, and alleged corruption by senior ANC officials.
Since President Thabo Mbeki took office, South Africa had slipped 14 places on the rankings of perceptions of corruption issued by Transparency International, from 34th place to 48th.
"The reasons why our country is perceived as corrupt are no mystery. The responsibility for corruption begins at the top," Leon said.
"In several of the provinces run by the ANC, corruption has reached crisis levels. And nowhere is the crisis as deep as it is here in Mpumalanga. Today it is the corruption capital of South Africa," Leon said.
The DA train arrived about three hours late in Ermelo, where there was an audience of around 100 people.
Pinky Masilela (22), an unemployed resident of Embalenhle, in Kinross, said: "I'm happy that the DA will take over, as the ANC has wasted my vote by making empty promises of jobs."
Leon proposed that the Mpumalanga government be put under the management of a special, nationally appointed interim team until its affairs were sorted out.
"With a strong opposition we can hold the government to account and make sure that public officials work for the people and not for themselves. A vote for the DA is a vote for real change in Mpumalanga and South Africa," said Leon.
With acknowledgements to Moloantoa Mosia and The Star.