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Maimane fires back at Zuma at DA closing elections rally

Recently Maimane and Zuma have been exchanging insults during final campaigns for their respective parties.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane. Picture: Christa Eybers

JOHANNESBURG - Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane has fired back at President Jacob Zuma, blaming him for all the country's problems adding that he changed the African National Congress (ANC) from a good to a bad party.

Recently Maimane and Zuma have been exchanging insults during final campaigns for their respective parties.

The DA leader addressed thousands of supporters in Dobsonville in Soweto yesterday at the party's Phetogo rally.

Last week, Zuma lashed out at Maimane, labelling him a lost feather in the sky and a young boy who lacks thinking capacity.

Yesterday, Maimane fired back, saying Zuma has done nothing but degenerate the ANC.

Maimane said the day Zuma took over as ANC president, the Party of Nelson Mandela died.

"The selfless struggle gave way to selfish accumulation. The politics of the heart gave way to the politics of the stomach."

He said under Zuma the ANC has become everything it once fought against.

DA WILL SURPRISE MANY PEOPLE

Maimane said just as his party has grown beyond people's expectations, next week's poll results will also catch many by surprise.

He said the DA has grown and unlike in the past, it's now a reflection of a democratic South Africa.

Maimane said his party has disappointed those who thought it had reached a ceiling.

"They said to us before: it would be impossible for the DA to grow and the DA can't grow past a certain point. But when I look out here, I realise that these are South Africans who want change."

The DA leader said he's confident the party will grow even more, adding that people are realising it's the only party that can advance the lives of South African.

ZUMA-GUPTA RELATIONSHIP

Maimane once again criticised Zuma's relationship with the Gupta family, saying his party does not give jobs to friends, family or those who are politically connected.

He's urged Soweto residents to not feel obliged to vote for the ANC, saying it's no longer the party that Nelson Mandela fought for.

Maimane said he too voted for the ANC but says things have changed and the party no longer carries forward the values Mandela fought for.

The DA leader said his party is able to provide better services because political affiliations are not important.

"We don't give jobs to friends, family and politically connected people. Political affiliations don't matter in the DA. What is most important is that we are able to do the job."

He said the ANC is losing power and if South Africans want change, especially in the major metros and municipalities, they must vote for the DA on Wednesday.

At the same time, the DA's mayoral candidate for Nelson Mandela Bay Athol Trollip said he believes the party can win in what was once an ANC stronghold.

Trollip said the vote in Port Elizabeth will be close but he's confident many residents are ready for change.

"The Eastern Cape has been a stronghold of the ANC for many years, so when they lose Nelson Mandela Bay, it's going to have a profound impact on the ANC and will certainly mean the end of Jacob Zuma."