24/01/2009 21:14 - (SA)
Johannesburg - Voters should withdraw their trust from the African National Congress after 15 years of corrupt one-party dominance, United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa said on Saturday.
He was launching his party's election manifesto at the Nasrec centre in Johannesburg.
"I submit that after 15 years of broken promises and insufficient service delivery, they should not be entrusted with another term in office," he told supporters at the packed Nasrec centre.
Corruption and the growth of unemployment were the central issues in the election campaign, he added.
"I submit that after countless corruption scandals, they have abused your trust once too many".
Holomisa said like the National Party under apartheid, the ANC acted not to advance the interests of ordinary South Africans in need of jobs and social services, but of its own elite.
Cronyism and corruption
"The National Party thought they'd mastered cronyism and corruption; this ANC government has bettered them at their own game."
He said the ruling party could no longer be trusted to respect the courts and the independence of the judiciary, as its leader and presidential candidate, Jacob Zuma, was trying to escape prosecution for corruption.
"Can we trust them to be custodians of the judiciary, when they attack judges? Can we trust them to fight crime when their leaders are dodging their day in court?"
He lamented the way in which former president Thabo Mbeki was forced to step down, and said his successor Kgalema Motlanthe was not allowed to be a responsible head of state but forced to rush through legislation that benefited those in the ANC.
"Fifteen years into democracy we are witnessing the dangers of one-party dominance. For instance, vital decisions - such as the removal of the head of state - are casually taken by a few dozen people without even consulting parliament," he said.
"The caretaker president that the ruling party has appointed now appears to be under pressure to rush into law legislation that the ruling party prefers.
"He is expected to do this irrespective of his constitutional obligation and the oath of his office which oblige him to consider each law carefully.
"His duty, as we all know, is to act in the interest of all people," Holomisa said.
Motlanthe has come under pressure from the party to sign the SABC law, which allows Parliament to sack the board of the public broadcaster, and legislation disbanding the Scorpions.
Holomisa said the elite organised crime unit was punished for investigating senior ANC members.
He vowed that the UDM would bring back the Scorpions, take away powers from ministers and put it into the hands of accountable director generals, increase government spending to fight HIV/Aids and improve the quality of schooling.
Holomisa was expelled from the ANC in 1996 for accusing then public works minister Stella Sigcau of corruption.