Mmusi Maimane gestures as he delivers a speech on stage to supporters at the Dobsonville Stadium in Soweto, Johannesburg, on May 4, 2019 for the last rally ahead of May 8th legislative and presidential elections. Picture: AFP/MARCO LONGARI
Mmusi Maimane gestures as he delivers a speech on stage to supporters at the Dobsonville Stadium in Soweto, Johannesburg, on May 4, 2019 for the last rally ahead of May 8th legislative and presidential elections. Picture: AFP/MARCO LONGARI

Mmusi Maimane took aim at President Cyril Ramaphosa on Saturday in a rousing address at the DA’s closing rally ahead of the elections, calling on South Africans to make a brave decision and vote for his party. 

The rally in Dobsonville, Soweto, was the DA’s closing event in the last push for votes ahead of the general elections on Wednesday.

The DA has set its electoral targets high by saying it wanted to push the ANC below the majority of the support in Gauteng and the Northern Cape, as well as increase its share of the vote in the Western Cape — where it governs — and nationally.

Ramaphosa’s election as ANC president has helped the party on the campaign trail and has placed him in a position where he is more popular than the party, which has been crippled by factionalism and allegations of corruption for more than a decade.

Maimane accused Ramaphosa of accepting a bribe from disgraced facilities management agency Bosasa and of failing to take action against those who were responsible for “killing” those in the Life Esidimeni tragedy, which saw more than 144 mental health patients die after the ANC government in Gauteng made the decision to move them.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane lashed out at President Cyril Ramaphosa saying he had accepted a "bribe" and was there when South Africa was looted. Maimane was addressing the DA’s supporters at the final election rally in Dobsonville on May 4 2019.

Ramaphosa himself has been linked to Bosasa through a donation to his campaign for ANC president, though he claims he was unaware of this. There have also been claims that his son Andile does business with the now disgraced company which was renamed African Global Operations. 

Ramaphosa’s infamous email calling for concomitant action shortly before 34 mineworkers in Marikana were shot and killed by the police, was also raised

Maimane went on to say Ramaphosa wanted “everything nationalised”, which include the SA Reserve Bank, healthcare and pension funds.

He also raised the allegation made by EFF leader Julius Malema that Ramaphosa had offered Malema and his deputy Floyd Shivambu cabinet positions in the run-up to the elections.

“If you vote for that guy, you are voting for corruption and a merger (with the EFF),” Maimane said.

“Cyril Ramaphosa is no saviour. He is part of the ANC that caused so much despair and suffering these past 25 years. And now they want another five years to loot,’” Maimane said.

Maimane urged South Africans to be brave and “perhaps do something you haven’t done before when you go to vote on Wednesday”.

He said bravery did not always pay off immediately, but always did.

Maimane pledged that in return for South Africans votes, the DA would put an end to corruption, grow the economy, cut the size of the state, increase child grants and defend the Constitution.

“We will never, ever divide the people of this country and mobilise them against each other. We will never return to the days of ‘us and them’. Our South Africa will be inclusive, unified and strong,” he said.