media

Statements

11 July 2024

PRESS STATEMENT

VBS conviction welcomed, but other perpetrators must be held accountable.

VBS conviction welcomed, but other perpetrators must be held accountable.


Defend Our Democracy welcomes the conviction and sentencing of Tshifhiwa Matodzi, former board chair of the VBS Mutual Bank. Evidence clearly shows that Matodzi was a kingpin in the theft of around R2 billion invested in VBS by, among others, poor South African pensioners and struggling municipalities.


26 JUNE 2024

DRAFT DISCUSSION DOCUMENT

Strengthening Civil Society in South Africa within the context of national and provincial coalition governments

Strengthening Civil Society in South Africa within the context of national and provincial coalition governments

Draft document outlining the potential opportunities for civil society in relation to accountability and policy-making in the context of a Government of National Unity. 

President Cyril Ramaphosa has indicated that a National Dialogue will be held with all sectors of South African society to develop a common vision and programme of action for the country following the May 2024 electoral outcomes. 

In light of this, this discussion document details some of the potential opportunities for civil society. 

Please click this link to share your comments on the document contents: https://forms.gle/4M9LVmBj5PZWnWN97

12 JUNE 2024

PRESS STATEMENT:

GNU MUST BE PREMISED ON CONSTITUTIONALISM AND GOOD GOVERANCE

GNU must be premised on constitutionalism and good governance

We, the undersigned organisations, welcome the proposal for a Government of National Unity (GNU) committed to our Constitution, its values and the rule of law.

2 JUNE 2024

PRESS STATEMENT:

OBSEVER REPORTS: ELECTORAL PROCESS LARGELY FREE AND FAIR

Observer reports: Electoral process largely free and fair

Based on preliminary reports from its Election Watch observer campaign, as well as analysis from other observer organisations, Defend our Democracy has determined that the 2024 elections can be said to be broadly free and fair.

 

23  MAY 2024

PRESS STATEMENT:

CALL TO UPHOLD THE INTEGRITY OF THE ELECTIONS

Call to uphold the integrity of the elections

We, the undersigned organisations reaffirm our unwavering commitment to free, fair and peaceful national and provincial elections next week in South Africa.
We call on all sectors of society to pledge to uphold the integrity of the upcoming elections.

 

16  MAY 2024

OPINION PIECE:

N WATERSKEIDINGSJAAR VIR DEMOKRASIE 

DR ANDRE BARTLETT

‘n Waterskeidingsjaar vir demokrasie

‘n Waterskeidingsjaar vir demokrasie in Suid-Afrika: dis hoe 2024 deur talle persone en
instansies beskou word.

Ons kyk nie net terug op 30 jare ná ons eerste demokratiese in 1994 nie, maar gaan ook op 29 Mei vir die sewende keer na die stembus – en dit in ‘n verkiesing waaraan ‘n rekordaantal partye en onafhanklike kandidate deelneem.

16  MAY 2024

OPINION PIECE:

30 YEARS OF DEMOCRACY

DR REKGOTSOFETSE CHIKANE

30 years of democracy

As we approach the celebration of 30 years of democracy and the 7th election of our
democratic dispensation, there have been countless evocations of the importance of our
democracy and maintaining its integrity.

10 MAY 2024

PRESS STATEMENT:

SUPPORT FOR  CONCOURT, IRRESPECTIVE OF  OUTCOME

Support for ConCourt, irrespective of outcome


We, the undersigned organisations, call on all stakeholders to respect the decision of the
Constitutional Court in relation to the Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa’s
(IEC) appeal to be heard on 10 May 2024.

27 April 2024

PRESS STATEMENT:

30 YEARS  OF DEMOCRACY – A CALL TO RECOMMIT TO ACTIVE CITIZENSHIP 

30 Years of Democracy – A Call to Recommit to Active Citizenship

 As the country marks its 30th year of freedom on 27 April 2024, Defend our Democracy callson South Africans to recommit to active citizenry.

12 March 2024

PRESS STATEMENT:

POLITICAL PARTIES MUST BE CALLED OUT FOR CASTING DOUBT ON SA’S ELECTORAL PROCESSES

Political parties must be called out for casting doubt on SA’s electoral processes

Defend our Democracy calls on political parties to refrain from casting unwarranted doubt on the country’s 2024 electoral processes and on the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC)of South Africa.
In doing so, they risk discrediting the elections before it has even kicked off.

08 December  2023

PRESS STATEMENT:

GOVERNMENT NOT TURNING THE TIDE AGAINST THE GROWING TSUNAMI OF CORRUPTION

 

Government not turning the tide against the growing tsunami of corruption

The Defend our Democracy Movement and supporting civil society organisations believe that the South Africa is not winning the war against corruption and state capture.

As the country marks International Anti-Corruption Day (9 December), we are being told by the government that it is ‘turning the tide against corruption’.

 

30 November 2023

PRESS STATEMENT:

ELECTION WATCH, A COLLECTIVE COMMITMENT TO SAFEGUARDING OUR CONSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRACY

 

Election Watch, a collective commitment to safeguarding our constitutional democracy

We, the undersigned civil society organisations, organised labour, business, faith-based and community organisations, sectoral networks, academia, and the media, reaffirm our unwavering commitment to ensuring the success and integrity of the 2024 elections.
As the country approaches 30 years of freedom in 2024, we acknowledge the immense strides made in transforming South Africa from its apartheid past to a constitutional democracy

11 November 2023

PRESS STATEMENT:

MOTSOALEDI MUST EXPLAIN WHY ELECTORAL REFORM PANEL IS NOT YET APPOINTED

Motsoaledi must explain why electoral reform panel is not yet appointed

The Defend Our Democracy (DOD) movement calls on Home Affairs Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi to explain why he has failed to meet the deadline to appoint an Electoral Reform Consultation Panel.

The panel was meant to have been appointed by 19 October 2023, but this has not been done to date.

 

28 October 2023

PRESS STATEMENT: CALL FOR AN END TO THE BOMBARDMENET OF GAZA

 

 

 

Call for an End to the Bombardment of Gaza


Defend our Democracy reiterates the call of hundreds of thousands of ordinary people across the globe for an immediate end to Israel’s bombardment of Gaza.


We lend our voice to that of the United Nations’ Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, calling for humanitarian aid – food, water, medicine and fuel – to be allowed into the Gaza Strip immediately and on the scale that is required.


It is simply unconscionable that the United Nations Security Council could not come to an
agreement on an issue as fundamental and human as getting in aid to ordinary civilians.

23 August 2023

SPEECH:ZAAKIRAH VADI

UDF40 ANNIVERSARY NATIONAL CELEBRATION

Active citizenry for democratic renewal

In a few days from now, the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation and other organisations will host a memorial meeting to continue calling for accountability for the assassination of Babita Deokaran.She was the Gauteng health official who was killed in August 2021 after blowing the whistle on corruption at Tembisa Hospital.

The hospital officials implicated in the questionable deals, were suspended several days ago – two long years later.The UDF40 celebration today, has been themed around reigniting active citizenry – with an emphasis on accountability and transparency.

23 August 2023

SPEECH:REKGOTSOFETSE CHIKANE

UDF40 ANNIVERSARY NATIONAL CELEBRATION

From Protest to Challenge; Mobilisation to Organisation; From a First to a Second Republic
On the 21st of October 2015, I was part of a moment that made me realise that change in our country is inevitable. But the question that struck me was whether this inevitable change should be led and fueled by those who have a belief in human dignity and democratic responsibility to your fellow citizen, or whether it would be led by those who wish to make the country their own personal bank account.

12 August 2023

PRESS STATEMENT: ZUMA’S PRESIDENTIAL REMISSION

 

Defend our Democracy notes the release of former President Jacob Zuma from prison under a Presidential remission of sentence process.

We note that the former President did return to the Estcourt Correctional Facility, albeit for a very short time.

We highlight the important rule of law principle in the matter – that the unlawfulness of the former President’s release from prison on ‘medical parole’ in 2021 was upheld after the Constitutional Court dismissed the application for leave to appeal the Supreme Court’s ruling.

16 July 2023

PRESS STATEMENT:

CONCOURT RULING ON ZUMA MEDICAL PAROLE MUST BE RESPECTED 

Defend our Democracy notes the recent Constitutional Court order dismissing the application for leave to appeal by the National Commissioner of Correctional Services.  

The effect of this is that the Supreme Court of Appeal’s (SCA) judgment relating to former President Jacob Zuma’s medical parole stands. The SCA held that the former President’s September 2021 release from prison on ‘medical parole’ was unlawful.

28 May 2023

PRESS STATEMENT:

LAUNCHING CONGRESS OF THE DEFEND OUR DEMOCRACY MOVEMENT

Defend our Democracy officially launched as a civil society movement on 27 May 2023. With this comes a new National Committee and a renewed commitment to upholding, protecting, and defending the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. 

01 May 2023

PRESS STATEMENT:

WORKERS DAY MESSAGE: THE BURDEN OF CORRUPTION AND POOR GOVERNANCE BORNE BY WORKERS 

Defend our Democracy remembers the May Day of 1986 which saw 1.5 million workers in South Africa stage what was one of the largest strikes in South Africa’s history. 

This generation of workers stands to be subjected to a cruel irony at the hands of the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) who could rob them of their retirement should they continue to make decisions in the interest of AYO Technologies and not the workers.

 

27 April 2023

PRESS STATEMENT:

FREEDOM DAY MESSAGE

Defend our Democracy calls on the country to remember not only what it took to have the freedom we do but what it was defined as when it was being fought for, to exist in a new South Africa, one not plagued by the poverty, indignity, and division that was fundamental to the apartheid regime, but one which embodied justice, peace, work, bread, water, and salt for all. 

As the country comes closer to another election in the midst of abounding crises, it is more important now than ever before the remember what was fought for and demand more of the sitting and incumbent government. Moreover, to demand that each vote be earned.

 

21 April 2023

PRESS STATEMENT:

NULANE FAILURE A BLOW TO PUBLIC CONFIDENCE ABOUT ABILITY OF STATE TO TACKLE CORRUPTION 

Defend our Democracy expresses its dismay at the failure of the state as the Nulane Investments trial came to a disastrous end.

This failure casts doubt on the ability of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in seeing through the remainder of the State Capture related cases. 

A significant change from the NPA is paramount. 

16 March 2023

PRESS STATEMENT: 

NO TO SHUTDOWN

Defend our Democracy joins various organisations to express opposition to the forced national shutdown planned by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) on 20 March 2023.

Defend our Democracy joins these organisations in championing the freedom of every individual to choice, association, movement, safety, and expression as per the Constitution of South Africa.

10 March 2023

PRESS STATEMENT: 

NEHAWU STRIKE INTIMIDATION MUST BE CONDEMNED

Defend our Democracy condemns the intimidation aimed at nurses and doctors who have opted to work during strike action being conducted by the National Education, Health, and Allied Workers’ Union (NEHAWU).

02 March 2023

MEMORANDUM: 

PRASA, HANDS OFF WHISTLEBLOWERS

Defend our Democracy writes a memorandum to the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) calling for a seizing of the harassment it has subjected whistleblowers to. 

The memorandum calls on PRASA to desist specifically from the targeted harassament of Martha Ngoye. 

23 February 2023

PRESS STATEMENT: 

ATTACKS ON DE RUYTER FAIL TO ADDRESS SERIOUS ALLEGATIONS OF CORRUPTION

Defend our Democracy expresses concern around responses to the allegations of corruption raised by former Eskom CEO, Andre de Ruyter. 

Defend our Democracy highlights the troubling nature of the attack while the damning allegations of ongoing corruption and capture in the energy sector remain unaddressed. 

22 February 2023

PRESS STATEMENT: 

CAUTION AROUND THE STATE OF DISASTER WARRENTED

Defend our Democracy notes the efforts of the government to address the country’s energy crisis, but, calls for caution around the handling of the State of Disaster.

08 February 2023

MEMORANDUM: 

#THEREALSONA

Defend Our Democracy delivers a memorandum endorsed by 75 organisations to the office of the president. The memorandum calls for a revisiting of the 2022 State of the Nation Address (SONA) and a sincere evaluation of whether the promises made were in fact kept. 

The memorandum calls for less promises and more action. 

06 February 2023

PRESS STATEMENT: 

A COUNTRY IN CRISES: THE REAL STATE OF THE NATION

Defend Our Democracy convenes a public meeting in Cape Town on the eve of the opening of Parliament and the presidential State of the Nation Address. 

The rally is entitled “A Country in Crisis – The Real State of the Nation”. It is prompted by concerned citizens that South Africa is spiralling into a deeper crisis, with a growing disconnect between those in power and the issues that the ordinary public face daily. 

07 December 2022

MEMORANDUM: 

ANTI-CORRUPTION PICKET – STANDING UP TO HEALTH SECTOR CORRUPTION

Defend our Democracy stands with a number of other civil society organisations echoing the plight of thousands of people from various parts of the country who rely on public healthcare and the whistleblowers who have sacrificed their livelihoods and even lives trying to address it. 

Defend our Democracy says enough to corruption in health care!

01 December 2022

PRESS STATEMENT: 

PHALA PHALA REPORT SETS IMPORTANT PRECEDENT AROUND STRENGTHENING DEMOCRATIC PROCESSES

Defend our Democracy welcomes the Report of the Section 89 Independent Panel on the events surrounding the burglary that took place at President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala farm in February 2020. This stands a necessary and important step in strengthening democratic processes around accountability.

25 November 2022

PRESS STATEMENT: 

RESPECTING JUDICIAL OUTCOMES CENTRAL TO BOTH ZUMA AND WALUS CASE

Defend our Democracy notes the judgement by the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in relation to former President Jacob Zuma’s parole, and that of the Constitutional Court regarding Janusz Waluś’ parole.For both, a respect for judicial outcomes is central for the upholding of the constitution.

1 November 2022

PRESS STATEMENT: 

CIVIL SOCIETY TO HOLD A PUBLIC MEETING ON THE ELECTORAL AMENDMENT BILL

Several civil society organisations will convene a lunch time Electoral Amendment Bill public meeting on Wednesday, 2 November at the Groote Kerk Church in Cape Town. The speakers of this public meeting include Rachel Fischer from Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) and Mudzuli Rakhivane from Independent Candidates Association (ICA).

21 October 2022

PRESS STATEMENT: 

SUPPORT FOR ELECTORAL AMENDMENT BILL BY MPS IS REGRETTABLE

Defend our Democracy expresses disappointment in the outcomes of the National Assembly vote
in favour of the Electoral Amendment Bill.

Out of a total of 330 votes, 232 Members of Parliament (MPs) voted for the Bill, 98 rejected it and three abstained from the vote. The majority of the votes in favour of the bill were attributed to the ANC, EFF and Al Jama-ah, while the DA, FF Plus, ACDP, IFP, ATM, and UDM rejected
the Bill, citing similar concerns to those that civil society has raised on numerous occasions.
Support for this Bill is once again an indicator that political parties value their own interests
rather than that of the public.

24 September 2022

PRESS STATEMENT: 

HERITAGE DAY STATEMENT – 24 SEPTEMBER 

Defend Our Democracy wishes all those living in South Africa a happy Heritage Day.  It is through our hard won democracy that we are able to celebrate our diverse cultures, beliefs and traditions, in the wider context of a nation that belongs to all its people.

And, even though we are able to celebrate Heritage Day, it is important that we equally embrace a heritage and culture of constitutionalism.

Defend Our Democracy believes that the only way we can do this is through a commitment of ethical leadership from our public representatives, who must embody principles of good governance, transparency and accountability, particularly as it pertains to political party fundraising and the need for prioritising the interest of the public over those of the party.  








15 September 2022

PRESS STATEMENT: 

DEFEND OUR DEMOCRACY WELCOMES THE ESTABLISHMENT OF AN INDEPENDENT PANEL TO INVESTIGATE THE PHALA PHALA FARM MATTER















Defend Our Democracy welcomes the Speaker of Parliament – Nosiphiwe Mapisa-Nqakula’s decision to establish an independent panel to probe the allegations of theft at President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala farm.

25 August 2022

PRESS STATEMENT: 

#UNITEBEHIND PRESS STATEMENT: SIYANGENA HEARING ON 26 AUG 2022, UNITEBEHIND AS AMICUS CURIAE, BREAKDOWN OF COMMUTER RAIL















The Siyangena case is but one of more than 300 corrupt contracts from 2012-2015 unearthed in a series of investigations. First the Public Protector, then the Treasury Report , and now the Zondo Commission found serious criminality and corruption at the SOE. Zondo has recommended that many of the perpetrators, such as Lucky Montana, Daniel Mthimkhulu, former Chair of the Board Sfiso Buthelezi (currently the chair of the Appropriations Committee at Parliament), and businessmen Roy Moodley, Makhensa Mabunda, and Auswell Mashaba be investigated and or prosecuted.

13 August 2022

PRESS STATEMENT: 

DEFEND OUR DEMOCRACY WELCOMES THE BANNING OF BAIN&CO FROM CONDUCTING BUSINESS WITH THE  UNITED KINGDOM GOVERNMENT










Defend Our Democracy applauds the efforts made by whistleblower Atholl Williams and Peter Hain in securing the ban on Bain&Co from conducting business with the government of the United Kingdom (UK).


In line with calls made by the Helen Suzman Foundation, we equally call on the South African government to implement similar measures to prevent Bain&Co from engaging in business with government and State Owned Enterprises.

13 July 2022

PRESS STATEMENT: 

GOVERNMENT MUST ACT WITH URGENCY IN DEALING WITH ELECTRICITY CRISIS 








The Defend Our Democracy Campaign and a number of civil society organisations met with the Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan on Tuesday to engage on the country’s electricity crisis. 

Organisations present raised the impact of the electricity crisis on the lived experiences of people, the economy, and in turn on the stability of our democracy



29 June 2022

PRESS STATEMENT: 

CONFERENCE FOR DEMOCRATIC RENEWAL AND CHANGE TO BE HELD

 

 





The Defend our Democracy campaign will on the 1-2 July 2022 host the ‘Conference for
Democratic Renewal and Change’.

Some 300 delegates will talk about the threats to democracy, and what should be the collective role in
addressing these and envisioning a new, participatory politics. Participants will deliberate on
what needs to be done to shift our politics from one that is the sole preserve of political parties,
lacks accountability and is not service driven, to one that puts the public interests first. 



23 June 2022

PRESS STATEMENT:

RELEASE OF FINAL STATE CAPTURE REPORT IS WELCOME, BUT ORANGE OVERALLS MUST FOLLOW








The Campaign commends the Commission for the work it has done in revealing the nature and extent of the corruption networks, and the systemic manner in which it undermined our hard won democracy. It was indeed as indicated by the President, an attack on our democracy.




10 June 2022

PRESS STATEMENT:

NEED FOR TRANSPARENCY AROUND THE REPORTED PHALA PHALA ROBBERY




While the President intends to subject himself to the ANC’s Integrity Committee, and has indicated that he will follow due process in relation to the investigation by the Hawks, we believe that transparency about what had occurred is within the public’s interest.

 

 

06 June 2022

PRESS STATEMENT:

REPORTED ARRESTS OF GUPTAS A SIGNIFICANT DEVELOPMENT

The Defend our Democracy Campaign notes the reported arrests of Rajesh and Atul Gupta in the United Arab Emirates.

We await further information from the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development on the circumstances surrounding the reported arrests. We note that South African law enforcement agencies are working with their counterparts in the UAE and await further clarity on the matter.

If the Gupta brothers are to be extradited to South Africa to face charges, this would be an important victory for the many civil society organisations and ordinary citizens who have consistently called for justice and accountability.

27 April 2022

PRESS STATEMENT:

ETHICAL LEADERSHIP REQUIRED , PARTICULARLY AT TIMES OF CRISIS

Today, South Africa marks 28 years of freedom from apartheid rule.

We value the ideals of freedom and democracy and acknowledge the significant gains made since 1994, but the occasion this year cannot be one that is celebratory. Instead, it should be a day in which we take serious stock of the state of our democracy.

This year’s Freedom Day comes at a time when thousands of people in KwaZulu Natal and parts of the Eastern Cape and North West face the pain of losing loved ones, along with severe damage to homes, businesses and public infrastructure due to the recent floods.

It occurs as hundreds of Langa residents in the Western Cape remain displaced due to a fire that gutted the informal settlement several days ago.

As April heralds colder weather, South Africans are looking for alternate sources of staying warm and keeping their businesses going, as regular loadshedding becomes a reality.

 

7 April 2022

PRESS STATEMENT:

CALL FOR PUBLIC FEEDBACK ON CONFERENCE PAPER ON DEMOCRATIC RENEWAL AND CHANGE

The Defend our Democracy Campaign today launches its national discussion document on democratic renewal and change. 

We call on all members of society to engage on its contents and share with us their feedback. 

This document is important because through it, we hope that various sectors and organisations across the country, including individual members of the public, will use it as a basis to engage on the issue of democratic renewal and change. 

These deliberations, and the feedback that we receive, will form the basis of the Defend Our Democracy Campaign’s national Conference for Democratic Renewal and Change, to take place in June this year.

20 February 2022

PROGRESS IN THE REMEDIAL WORKS AT CHARLOTTE MAXEKE JOHANNESBURG ACADEMIC HOSPITAL

 

 

This is a letter written to the Gauteng Provincial Department regarding the remedial work done at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital. 

20 February 2022

MEMORANDUM: FIX AND OPEN ALL WARDS AT CHARLOTTE MAXEKE ACADEMIC HOSPITAL AS A MATTER OF URGENCY 

Today, we stand outside Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital, echoing the pleas of the thousands of patients from several provinces who rely on this hospital for their healthcare.

We repeat the plea of dedicated medical, cleaning and administrative staff from Charlotte Maxeke and surrounding hospitals, who have borne additional strain since the April 2021 fire that seriously damaged parts of the facility.

We share the concerns of residents and workers from surrounding areas, who now contend with clogged-up roads, as the hospital’s carpark has been closed due to the fire.

 

By Defend Our Democracy Campaign

9 February 2022

 

MEMORANDUM: THE STATE OF THE NATION – THE PEOPLE’S VOICE




This is the first State of the Nation Address by the President following the July 2021 unrest. There has so far been little consequence for those behind the failed insurrection. Six months down the line, no one is held to account for the death of 337 people, the mass destruction of economic infrastructure and the heightened social tensions. 




By Defend Our Democracy and partner organisations

23 January 2022

COLLECTIVE CALL TO STOP ATTACKS ON MIGRANTS 

The calls made by several political parties and community activists to forcefully remove migrants from their homes, and to count the number of foreign nationals employed in South African restaurants, is profoundly disturbing. Actions such as these can easily escalate into the widespread xenophobic violence we saw in 2008 and in subsequent years. 

 

By Defend Our Democracy and partner organisations

19 January 2022

STATEMENT REGARDING MINISTER SISULU’S ARTICLE TITLED “HI MZANSI, HAVE WE SEEN JUSTICE?”

On 7 January 2022, Minister of Tourism Lindiwe Sisulu published an article in which she launched an extraordinary attack on South Africa’s justice system, its Constitution, and the judiciary. Although authored in her personal capacity, Ms Sisulu’s public utterances, made as a member of the Executive and as a high-ranking member of the African National Congress,must be repudiated in the strongest tenns,

 

 

By Defend Our Democracy

ANTI-CORRUPTION WEEK TO PROCEED, THOUGH MARCH CALLED OFF

03 December   2021

As we begin Anti-Corruption Week, we reiterate our commitment to responsible mobilisation and doing our part to stop the spread of the virus. We urge organisations, community forums, religious institutions and individuals to follow all Covid-19 health protocols, to vaccinate and take extra precaution if organising in-person activations during the week. 

By Defend Our Democracy

MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD, SUPPORT ANTI-CORRUPTION WEEK

08 November   2021

As South Africa emerges from a local government election in which many citizens chose not to vote, there is a need to reengage the public around participatory democracy, holding public representatives accountable and playing an active role in advocating for clean and ethical governance. This week aims to prompt that reengagement through involving communities in anti-corruption awareness work.

By Defend Our Democracy

DEMANDING ACCOUNTABILITY CENTRAL TO DEFENDING DEMOCRACY 

04 April 2021

Speaking on behalf of the Defend our Democracy campaign, Reverend Frank Chikane said, “Experience has taught our country how donations made to political parties can be used as basis to extract favours from politicians at a later stage. The lack of accountability with regards to party funding is central to state capture.”

By Defend Our Democracy

THE ASSAULT ON SOUTH AFRICA’S CONSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRACY: A CALL TO UNITED ACTION

18 March 2021

“Twenty-five years ago, the people of this nation adopted the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (1996), enshrining in the history of the country the very first democratic code of rights, entitlements and responsibilities governing the conduct of the people and the state…”

By Defend Our Democracy

DIE AANSLAG OP SUID-AFRIKA SE KONSITUSIONELE DEMOKRASIE: ’N OPROEP OM SAAM OP TE TREE     

18 Maart 2021   

“Onderteken asseblief hierdie verklaring, en versprei dit so wyd soos moontlik. Ons kannie passiewe waarnemers wees terwyl ons demokrasie en ons Grondwet bedreig word nie. Ons het almal blatante korrupsie gesien, en hoe instellings ondermyn is. Tans is daar pogings om ook ons konstitusionele demokrasie – wat ons almal beskerm en vereis dat ons regering ons as die mense van Suid Afrika dien – te ondermyn. Gewese president Zuma het geweier om by die Zondo Kommissie getuienis te lewer, alhowel hy voorheen as getuie daar was. Gevaarlike en teen-demokratiese magte word ook opgesweep om Zuma te ondersteun. Dit skep ‘n ernstige bedreiging vir die stabilitetit en demokrasie van Suid-Afrika. Ons doen dus ‘n oproep op alle mense om hierdie bedreiging van ons demokrasie te opponeer, en om saam te staan teen die persone wat vasberade is om die waardes en beginsels in ons Grondwet te verkrag. Ons eis dat Jacob Zuma voor die Zondo Kommissie verskyn, of die gevolge van sy optrede dra.”

Klik hier om te teken. 

Deur Beskerm Ons Demokrasie 

Statements

1 November 2022

PRESS STATEMENT: 

CIVIL SOCIETY TO HOLD A PUBLIC MEETING ON THE ELECTORAL AMENDMENT BILL

Several civil society organisations will convene a lunch time Electoral Amendment Bill public meeting on Wednesday, 2 November at the Groote Kerk Church in Cape Town. The speakers of this public meeting include Rachel Fischer from Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) and Mudzuli Rakhivane from Independent Candidates Association (ICA).

1 November 2022

PRESS STATEMENT: 

CIVIL SOCIETY TO HOLD A PUBLIC MEETING ON THE ELECTORAL AMENDMENT BILL

Several civil society organisations will convene a lunch time Electoral Amendment Bill public meeting on Wednesday, 2 November at the Groote Kerk Church in Cape Town. The speakers of this public meeting include Rachel Fischer from Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) and Mudzuli Rakhivane from Independent Candidates Association (ICA).

21 October 2022

PRESS STATEMENT: 

SUPPORT FOR ELECTORAL AMENDMENT BILL BY MPS IS REGRETTABLE

Defend our Democracy expresses disappointment in the outcomes of the National Assembly vote
in favour of the Electoral Amendment Bill.

Out of a total of 330 votes, 232 Members of Parliament (MPs) voted for the Bill, 98 rejected it and three abstained from the vote. The majority of the votes in favour of the bill were attributed to the ANC, EFF and Al Jama-ah, while the DA, FF Plus, ACDP, IFP, ATM, and UDM rejected
the Bill, citing similar concerns to those that civil society has raised on numerous occasions.
Support for this Bill is once again an indicator that political parties value their own interests
rather than that of the public.

24 September 2022

PRESS STATEMENT: 

HERITAGE DAY STATEMENT – 24 SEPTEMBER 

Defend Our Democracy wishes all those living in South Africa a happy Heritage Day.  It is through our hard won democracy that we are able to celebrate our diverse cultures, beliefs and traditions, in the wider context of a nation that belongs to all its people.

And, even though we are able to celebrate Heritage Day, it is important that we equally embrace a heritage and culture of constitutionalism.

Defend Our Democracy believes that the only way we can do this is through a commitment of ethical leadership from our public representatives, who must embody principles of good governance, transparency and accountability, particularly as it pertains to political party fundraising and the need for prioritising the interest of the public over those of the party.  








15 September 2022

PRESS STATEMENT: 

DEFEND OUR DEMOCRACY WELCOMES THE ESTABLISHMENT OF AN INDEPENDENT PANEL TO INVESTIGATE THE PHALA PHALA FARM MATTER















Defend Our Democracy welcomes the Speaker of Parliament – Nosiphiwe Mapisa-Nqakula’s decision to establish an independent panel to probe the allegations of theft at President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala farm.

25 August 2022

PRESS STATEMENT: 

#UNITEBEHIND PRESS STATEMENT: SIYANGENA HEARING ON 26 AUG 2022, UNITEBEHIND AS AMICUS CURIAE, BREAKDOWN OF COMMUTER RAIL















The Siyangena case is but one of more than 300 corrupt contracts from 2012-2015 unearthed in a series of investigations. First the Public Protector, then the Treasury Report , and now the Zondo Commission found serious criminality and corruption at the SOE. Zondo has recommended that many of the perpetrators, such as Lucky Montana, Daniel Mthimkhulu, former Chair of the Board Sfiso Buthelezi (currently the chair of the Appropriations Committee at Parliament), and businessmen Roy Moodley, Makhensa Mabunda, and Auswell Mashaba be investigated and or prosecuted.

13 August 2022

PRESS STATEMENT: 

DEFEND OUR DEMOCRACY WELCOMES THE BANNING OF BAIN&CO FROM CONDUCTING BUSINESS WITH THE  UNITED KINGDOM GOVERNMENT










Defend Our Democracy applauds the efforts made by whistleblower Atholl Williams and Peter Hain in securing the ban on Bain&Co from conducting business with the government of the United Kingdom (UK).


In line with calls made by the Helen Suzman Foundation, we equally call on the South African government to implement similar measures to prevent Bain&Co from engaging in business with government and State Owned Enterprises.

13 July 2022

PRESS STATEMENT: 

GOVERNMENT MUST ACT WITH URGENCY IN DEALING WITH ELECTRICITY CRISIS 








The Defend Our Democracy Campaign and a number of civil society organisations met with the Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan on Tuesday to engage on the country’s electricity crisis. 

Organisations present raised the impact of the electricity crisis on the lived experiences of people, the economy, and in turn on the stability of our democracy



29 June 2022

PRESS STATEMENT: 

CONFERENCE FOR DEMOCRATIC RENEWAL AND CHANGE TO BE HELD

 

 





The Defend our Democracy campaign will on the 1-2 July 2022 host the ‘Conference for
Democratic Renewal and Change’.

Some 300 delegates will talk about the threats to democracy, and what should be the collective role in
addressing these and envisioning a new, participatory politics. Participants will deliberate on
what needs to be done to shift our politics from one that is the sole preserve of political parties,
lacks accountability and is not service driven, to one that puts the public interests first. 



23 June 2022

PRESS STATEMENT:

RELEASE OF FINAL STATE CAPTURE REPORT IS WELCOME, BUT ORANGE OVERALLS MUST FOLLOW








The Campaign commends the Commission for the work it has done in revealing the nature and extent of the corruption networks, and the systemic manner in which it undermined our hard won democracy. It was indeed as indicated by the President, an attack on our democracy.




10 June 2022

PRESS STATEMENT:

NEED FOR TRANSPARENCY AROUND THE REPORTED PHALA PHALA ROBBERY




While the President intends to subject himself to the ANC’s Integrity Committee, and has indicated that he will follow due process in relation to the investigation by the Hawks, we believe that transparency about what had occurred is within the public’s interest.

 

 

06 June 2022

PRESS STATEMENT:

REPORTED ARRESTS OF GUPTAS A SIGNIFICANT DEVELOPMENT

The Defend our Democracy Campaign notes the reported arrests of Rajesh and Atul Gupta in the United Arab Emirates.

We await further information from the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development on the circumstances surrounding the reported arrests. We note that South African law enforcement agencies are working with their counterparts in the UAE and await further clarity on the matter.

If the Gupta brothers are to be extradited to South Africa to face charges, this would be an important victory for the many civil society organisations and ordinary citizens who have consistently called for justice and accountability.

27 April 2022

PRESS STATEMENT:

ETHICAL LEADERSHIP REQUIRED , PARTICULARLY AT TIMES OF CRISIS

Today, South Africa marks 28 years of freedom from apartheid rule.

We value the ideals of freedom and democracy and acknowledge the significant gains made since 1994, but the occasion this year cannot be one that is celebratory. Instead, it should be a day in which we take serious stock of the state of our democracy.

This year’s Freedom Day comes at a time when thousands of people in KwaZulu Natal and parts of the Eastern Cape and North West face the pain of losing loved ones, along with severe damage to homes, businesses and public infrastructure due to the recent floods.

It occurs as hundreds of Langa residents in the Western Cape remain displaced due to a fire that gutted the informal settlement several days ago.

As April heralds colder weather, South Africans are looking for alternate sources of staying warm and keeping their businesses going, as regular loadshedding becomes a reality.

 

7 April 2022

PRESS STATEMENT:

CALL FOR PUBLIC FEEDBACK ON CONFERENCE PAPER ON DEMOCRATIC RENEWAL AND CHANGE

The Defend our Democracy Campaign today launches its national discussion document on democratic renewal and change. 

We call on all members of society to engage on its contents and share with us their feedback. 

This document is important because through it, we hope that various sectors and organisations across the country, including individual members of the public, will use it as a basis to engage on the issue of democratic renewal and change. 

These deliberations, and the feedback that we receive, will form the basis of the Defend Our Democracy Campaign’s national Conference for Democratic Renewal and Change, to take place in June this year.

20 February 2022

PROGRESS IN THE REMEDIAL WORKS AT CHARLOTTE MAXEKE JOHANNESBURG ACADEMIC HOSPITAL

 

 

This is a letter written to the Gauteng Provincial Department regarding the remedial work done at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital. 

20 February 2022

MEMORANDUM: FIX AND OPEN ALL WARDS AT CHARLOTTE MAXEKE ACADEMIC HOSPITAL AS A MATTER OF URGENCY 

Today, we stand outside Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital, echoing the pleas of the thousands of patients from several provinces who rely on this hospital for their healthcare.

We repeat the plea of dedicated medical, cleaning and administrative staff from Charlotte Maxeke and surrounding hospitals, who have borne additional strain since the April 2021 fire that seriously damaged parts of the facility.

We share the concerns of residents and workers from surrounding areas, who now contend with clogged-up roads, as the hospital’s carpark has been closed due to the fire.

 

By Defend Our Democracy Campaign

9 February 2022

 

MEMORANDUM: THE STATE OF THE NATION – THE PEOPLE’S VOICE




This is the first State of the Nation Address by the President following the July 2021 unrest. There has so far been little consequence for those behind the failed insurrection. Six months down the line, no one is held to account for the death of 337 people, the mass destruction of economic infrastructure and the heightened social tensions. 




By Defend Our Democracy and partner organisations

23 January 2022

COLLECTIVE CALL TO STOP ATTACKS ON MIGRANTS 

The calls made by several political parties and community activists to forcefully remove migrants from their homes, and to count the number of foreign nationals employed in South African restaurants, is profoundly disturbing. Actions such as these can easily escalate into the widespread xenophobic violence we saw in 2008 and in subsequent years. 

 

By Defend Our Democracy and partner organisations

19 January 2022

STATEMENT REGARDING MINISTER SISULU’S ARTICLE TITLED “HI MZANSI, HAVE WE SEEN JUSTICE?”

On 7 January 2022, Minister of Tourism Lindiwe Sisulu published an article in which she launched an extraordinary attack on South Africa’s justice system, its Constitution, and the judiciary. Although authored in her personal capacity, Ms Sisulu’s public utterances, made as a member of the Executive and as a high-ranking member of the African National Congress,must be repudiated in the strongest tenns,

 

 

By Defend Our Democracy

ANTI-CORRUPTION WEEK TO PROCEED, THOUGH MARCH CALLED OFF

03 December   2021

As we begin Anti-Corruption Week, we reiterate our commitment to responsible mobilisation and doing our part to stop the spread of the virus. We urge organisations, community forums, religious institutions and individuals to follow all Covid-19 health protocols, to vaccinate and take extra precaution if organising in-person activations during the week. 

By Defend Our Democracy

MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD, SUPPORT ANTI-CORRUPTION WEEK

08 November   2021

As South Africa emerges from a local government election in which many citizens chose not to vote, there is a need to reengage the public around participatory democracy, holding public representatives accountable and playing an active role in advocating for clean and ethical governance. This week aims to prompt that reengagement through involving communities in anti-corruption awareness work.

By Defend Our Democracy

DEMANDING ACCOUNTABILITY CENTRAL TO DEFENDING DEMOCRACY 

04 April 2021

Speaking on behalf of the Defend our Democracy campaign, Reverend Frank Chikane said, “Experience has taught our country how donations made to political parties can be used as basis to extract favours from politicians at a later stage. The lack of accountability with regards to party funding is central to state capture.”

By Defend Our Democracy

THE ASSAULT ON SOUTH AFRICA’S CONSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRACY: A CALL TO UNITED ACTION

18 March 2021

“Twenty-five years ago, the people of this nation adopted the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (1996), enshrining in the history of the country the very first democratic code of rights, entitlements and responsibilities governing the conduct of the people and the state…”

By Defend Our Democracy

DIE AANSLAG OP SUID-AFRIKA SE KONSITUSIONELE DEMOKRASIE: ’N OPROEP OM SAAM OP TE TREE     

18 Maart 2021   

“Onderteken asseblief hierdie verklaring, en versprei dit so wyd soos moontlik. Ons kannie passiewe waarnemers wees terwyl ons demokrasie en ons Grondwet bedreig word nie. Ons het almal blatante korrupsie gesien, en hoe instellings ondermyn is. Tans is daar pogings om ook ons konstitusionele demokrasie – wat ons almal beskerm en vereis dat ons regering ons as die mense van Suid Afrika dien – te ondermyn. Gewese president Zuma het geweier om by die Zondo Kommissie getuienis te lewer, alhowel hy voorheen as getuie daar was. Gevaarlike en teen-demokratiese magte word ook opgesweep om Zuma te ondersteun. Dit skep ‘n ernstige bedreiging vir die stabilitetit en demokrasie van Suid-Afrika. Ons doen dus ‘n oproep op alle mense om hierdie bedreiging van ons demokrasie te opponeer, en om saam te staan teen die persone wat vasberade is om die waardes en beginsels in ons Grondwet te verkrag. Ons eis dat Jacob Zuma voor die Zondo Kommissie verskyn, of die gevolge van sy optrede dra.”

Klik hier om te teken. 

Deur Beskerm Ons Demokrasie