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5 things PA’s Gayton McKenzie promises in addition to ‘bringing back God’

From bringing God back to South African schools, 'because God has been written out of our Constitution' to rolling out mass deportation of all illegal foreigners, as well as eradicating racial profiling, Patriotic Alliance President Gayton McKenzie, unpacks his 5-point plan to making South Africa great during the much-talked about 5th BizNews Conference.

For his first 100 days in office as a Mayor of Central Karoo, Patriotic Alliance (PA) President Gayton McKenzie made some bold promises after he was elected last year (April), these include boosting employment and investment opportunities in cash strapped municipalities and eradicating the bucket toilets in Nelspoort, the Beaufort West Local Municipality in the Western Cape.

A man of many words, with meaningful action, a widespread rollout of revamping dilapidated municipal pools with local community members carrying out the work was successfully completed last year. Furthermore, in his own words, he has closed almost 9000 potholes in and around the Central Karoo. That’s in addition to having opened over 13 factories that has resulted in almost 400 jobs, without using a cent of the municipality’s money.

Lauded for his hands-on approach, we’re talking here about a man who, upon being elected, gave up his salary (valued at R1.4m a year, or R117,423 a month), body guards and refused a state vehicle, and instead wanted to focus on job creation. Not only that, he’s well on track to turning the Central Karoo into the energy hub of South Africa, as well as addressing the huge shortage of houses in the district.

During an appearance at the 5th BizNews Conference Biz earlier this week, he ruffled some feathers a bit more as he pledged to deliver the following promises (below), but not before warning those who care to listen to ‘never vote for me because the five things I am going to do, it’s things that most of you do not like’.

1. One, I am going to bring God back to schools in South Africa, because God has been written out of our Constitution.

2. I am going to make sure that every child, over the age of 18, goes to the army. Whether you like it or not, whether you’re white, whether you’re gay, whether you’re straight, you can throw the gun away but you’re going.

3. I’m going to mass deport all illegal foreigners, and punish business people that still keeps them for a day or two.

4. I’m going to make sure that we get rid of white, black, Indian and coloured references in paper [racial profiling often referenced in government job applications]. Black, white, coloured and Indian people will only be known as South Africans. It’s time everybody kicks the can, everybody must get away from the racism issue. Let’s deal with the two things that are bordering this country; race and land.

  • Number one, get away from race, let’s be one nation under God and let’s  build this country together and make South Africa great.
  • Number two, the land issue. You know I just love it when I hear these things; ‘we want the land’, ‘we not gonna give you the land’. Yet there’s one thing that PA stands for. ‘We say if you want land, whether you’re a black man, coloured man or white, or any man, you need to make sure that land is productive. You need to give people jobs, you need to pay rent’. We need to see productivity. If not, we will take that land from you, and compensate you. So, you can have 300 farms, but if those farms are not producing, and you’re only producing in four of them. We will then take 296 of them, and pay you market value for your farms. 

5. And last but not least, as he warned during an earlier podcast with Penuel ‘The Black Pen’ Mlotshwa, no South African should ever make the mistake of voting for him if they don’t want the death penalty, ‘because I’m bringing it back’. He added: ‘If you don’t want me and my government to hang you, don’t kill people, because I will hang you. On weekends when I’m off, I will go and assist there by the hangman’. We always say we don’t want death penalty, but only until your wife has been shot dead; until your child is shot dead. 

Right to religion (belief in God); SA Constitution

The Bill of Rights as enshrined in the South African Constitution guarantees everyone the right to freedom of conscience, religion, thought, belief and opinion.

While the act allows individuals their religious rights, or lack of it thereof, meaning it’s perfectly fine to be an atheist, or anything in between, the conflict between these rights has played out publicly in several cases, such as the one involving  the Minister of Home Affairs and Fourie, where the Constitutional Court affirmed that ‘the rights of non-believers and minority faiths must too be fully respected’.

From previously being classified as a Christian state to South Africa becoming a secular state in 1996, all references to ‘a Christian state’ were dropped. Below is how the new preamble of a democratic South Africa now reads:

‘We, the people of South Africa, recognise the injustices of our past; Honour those who suffered for justice and freedom of our land; Respect those who have worked to build and develop our country; and believe that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity.’ The preamble further goes on to boldly reference ‘God’ or God’s existence, where it reads ‘may God protect our people’. The same can be said about new Cabinet Ministers who are still required to swear ‘in the name God’ after Cabinet Reshuffle.

In this light, McKenzie’s sentiments that the Constitution does not include God can, however, be argued. As the Twitter user below pointed out, South Africa is rather a circular country, meaning it neither endorse nor oppose any religion or belief, in order to accommodate our diverse population.

Another user, Cape-Town born physician based in BC (Canada) Alistair McAlpine, argued that ‘Putting ‘God’ in the constitution was a terrible idea.  ‘Which one? Which rules? Based on what evidence?,” he wrote.

However other observers such as Twitter user Collin Williams fully support McKenzie’s views, which are similarly shared by Action SA leader Herman Mashaba – as seen in thread below: “We are not cursed , we excluded God from the constitution. We embraced secularism and therefore we have no moral code,” Williams wrote.

What people say; religion vs. SA Constitution

Tankiso Komane
Tankiso Komane
A Tshwane University of Technology journalism graduate, Tankiso Komane has a vast experience in print & broadcast media business and has worked for some of the country’s biggest daily newspapers, including The Sowetan, The Citizen, The Times, and The New Age. Through her varied work as a journalist, notably as a copywriter for SABC1 (On-Air promotions) and as a publicist for Onyx Communications, she has developed an in-depth understanding of the nature of the media business and how to use it for the purpose of exposure. Her expertise in journalism across various disciplines, coupled with a good reputation, has laid the foundation of a new kind "trust in Journalism" as the media ecosystem continues to digitally evolve.
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