South Africa will forever be in debt if new Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba endorses a proposed nuclear deal, DA leader Mmusi Maimane said on Tuesday.
Former finance minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas had been bulldozed out of the ministry to pave the way for a the deal, he told party supporters in Polokwane during a march against President Jacob Zuma.
"I oppose nuclear, because it means our children and their grandchildren will be indebted to nuclear and we don't need nuclear. They want nuclear, not for the energy of South Africans, but for the benefit of Jacob Zuma and his children."
Maimane told a cheering crowd that the DA would continue staging marches until Zuma left office. He asked ANC members to join the fight.
"South Africa is asking you now to do the honourable thing, to live for the ideals of Nelson Mandela, to stand for South Africa."
He said South Africans were looking to political leaders to do something. The last two marches against Zuma were a reminder that citizens could unite and stop racism.
Zuma had claimed that the first march to the Union Buildings, on April 7, was motivated by racism.
Maimane said Zuma was playing the race card against people standing up to his decision to fire Gordhan and Jonas.
"When we march against Jacob Zuma, he says it's only the white people who are marching against him. We are here to tell him it's not black people, it's not white people, it's not coloured people, it's not Indian people. It is South Africans standing together.
"We are standing united and nobody can divide us. We will fight for the dream of Nelson Mandela."
Maimane said the ANC and Zuma were opposed to MPs voting by secret ballot in the vote of no confidence against him, because it was for the good of the country. The vote, initially scheduled for Tuesday, was postponed for the Constitutional Court to hear an application by the UDM that MPs be allowed to cast their votes in secret.
Former president Nelson Mandela and struggle stalwart Ahmed Kathrada were symbols of the good leadership which the ruling party was losing, Maimane said.
The children of the present generation would one day start asking uncomfortable questions.
"One day our children will ask us, were you a good person or were you a bad person? Were you a non-racial South African or were you a racist South African?
"Were you a South African who protects the Constitution, or were you a South African who violates the Constitution? Were you a South African who is corrupt like the Guptas, or a South African who wants to provide for all South Africans?"
Maimane said Zuma would spend his retirement in jail."He thinks he is going to retire in Nkandla. I am saying to him 'no, no, no you are going to retire in Sun City Maximum Prison'."