Magashule conflates party with state in Metsimaholo special election campaign
The Free State Provincial Government under Premier Ace Magashule continues to conflate the party with the state in clear contravention of the principles of constitutional democracy.
Today, Premier Magasule unveiled several government projects in the Metsimaholo Local Municipality under the government programme ‘Operation Hlasela’ which was hijacked by the ANC as part of the party’s campaign in the run-up to the special election scheduled for 29 November 2017.
On the Free State Provincial Government’s Facebook page a notice was published that Premier Magashule will lead a ‘community outreach programme’ under Operation Hlasela to hand over houses to military veterans, the opening of the Zamdela Duplex, the opening of the Amelia Recreational Park and the opening of the Dr Che Guevara Community Health Centre.
On the ANC Free State’s Facebook page, alongside evident ANC branding, a notice was published announcing Operation Hlasela will be embarking on an a ‘community outreach programme’ in Metsimaholo today, led by Ace Magashule.
At all events ANC members were bussed in to attend the various ceremonies.
Not only is this in clear violation of the principle of the separation of the party and the state, but it also flies in the face of the Public Protector’s report, “State and Party Colours”, released by the previous Public Protector, Adv. Thuli Madonsela, in May 2016, in which she identified that the Free State Provincial Government was guilty of conflating the party with the state during the 2011 local government elections.
Public Protector’s remedial action include that a clear separation between the party and the state must always be maintained and that Premier Ace Magashule should ensure that a policy be developed to ensure this separation and that it be communicated to all government employees and functionaries. It now appears that this remedial action was not implemented.
I have today written to the Public Protector asking her whether Premier Ace Magashule has complied with the remedial action as contained in the report. In addition, we will be lodging a new complaint with Adv. Mkhwebane to investigate this latest violation.
The DA will also lodge a complaint with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).
The DA cannot allow for state resources to be abused in this manner, especially during an election campaign. The ANC must take note that unethical behaviour such as this will not sway the electorate to vote for a party that is morally bankrupt and which has failed the people of Metsimaholo over decades whilst in government.
The people of Metsimaholo have an opportunity for a new beginning. They can affect the change necessary to bring good, clean and responsive governance to Metsimaholo that will deliver services to all by voting DA on 29 November 2017.
Statement issued by Dr Roy Jankielsohn, DA Leader of the Official Opposition, Free State Legislature, 17 November 2017