By Jane Sithole, MPL – DA Mpumalanga Provincial Chairperson/ Legislature Chief Whip
Date: 07 September 2017
Note to editors: The following speech was delivered in the Legislature by Jane Sithole MPL, DA Mpumalanga Chief Whip, on Thursday 07 Sep 2017 during the Heritage Day debate.
When we talk of our heritage, what do we mean? The heritage that we are talking about here today lies within ourselves and the moments we create. That is our heritage.
Hon. Speaker, today we see those who are elected to serve our people, inflict pain on those they are meant to protect. Just last week, the ANC Councillor in Nkomazi appeared in the Boschfontein Magistrate court for shooting and injuring a 16 year old learner. Is that the legacy that you want to leave? Is that the heritage that you want your children to inherit?
I’m reminded of heroes like Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Helen Suzman, who in their different ways chose peace above revenge and personal interest. They have left us with a heritage to be proud of and a sense of duty and pride. The legacy of those who came before us becomes our heritage. This heritage needs to be preserved for future generations.
Hon. Speaker, just a few months ago, an ANC councillor in Dr. JS Moroka Municipality was arrested for raping a teenage girl. He appeared in the Mdutjana Magistrate’s Court in Siyabuswa and he is currently out on bail. Is this the heritage that the ruling party want to leave for future generations to come? Is this the heritage that you want your children to inherit? Our heritage within social and political context should foster reconciliation and promote unity instead of igniting conflict.
Hon. Speaker, just last September an ANC councillor and seven accomplices were arrested and charged with murder, robbery and malicious damage to property after they killed a 30 year old man and set a house alight right here in Barberton. Where is our pride? Is this the kind of heritage that you want to leave for those who are coming after us?
If we want to leave a legacy for generations to come, we need to be exemplary. Preservation of the legacy given to us by those before us is essential.
Hon. Speaker, as a nation, as individuals, whatever we leave behind, through our actions, will ultimately be a heritage for generations to come. Let it be a heritage which those who will come after us can be proud of. Only then can we say, without having to brainwash anyone, that this generation has a good story to tell.
May I remind this House that heritage is not limited to traditions, monuments, objects, and culture, it is also the behaviours that we draw from those who are elected to uphold the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. If we are serious about restoring our heritage and passing it down to future generations, people like Mduduzi Manana, who unfortunately was born and bred in Mpumalanga, shouldn’t still be sitting in Parliament as a Member of Parliament. Just resigning as Deputy Minister due to public pressure, but remaining as a Member of Parliament, has sent a clear message that this kind of behaviour has become a norm, rather than an exception in the ruling party.
Hon. Speaker, Let us leave a heritage that our children will be proud of. A legacy that will give our children a sense of duty and pride. Let us give our children a good story to tell.
I thank you.
Jane Sithole, MPL
DA Mpumalanga Provincial Chairperson/ Legislature Chief Whip
082 854 9711
Acting Provincial Communications Manager
079 873 7590