Today I am announcing my response to the many thousands of South Africans who have reached out to me with one resounding request: that I do not give up on the good fight for a better South Africa.
I take this opportunity to speak directly to the hearts of all South Africans.
I remind all South Africans that our democracy is grounded on a constitution for good and that it requires of us all to build a country that confronts and heals the past and moves peacefully into the future.
I remain guided by it and by the most beautiful preamble:
We, the people of South Africa,
Recognise the injustices of our past;
Honour those who suffered for justice and freedom in 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.
We therefore, through our freely elected representatives, adopt this Constitution as the supreme law of the Republic so as to –
Heal the divisions of the past and establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights;
Lay the foundations for a democratic and open society in which government is based on the will of the people and every citizen is equally protected by law;
Improve the quality of life of all citizens and free the potential of each person; and
Build a united and democratic South Africa able to take its rightful place as a sovereign state in the family of nations.
May God protect our people.
Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika. Morena boloka setjhaba sa heso.
God seën Suid-Afrika. God bless South Africa.
Mudzimu fhatutshedza Afurika. Hosi katekisa Afrika.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve had the pleasure of spending more time with my family and my dogs and do the little things at home that I have not done for years.
The past two years have been a tough time for me personally, but I have taken a lot of comfort from thousands of South Africans who have sent me message of support and encouragement.
I am sincerely grateful for every single one of them.
I have also had the benefit of time to reflect on the events of the last two years.
On the 31st of October I resigned as a member of the Democratic Alliance and as Executive Mayor of the great city of Cape Town.
By that time I was the longest serving Executive Mayor of the City and the only Mayor, post-apartheid, to complete a term of office and be re-elected.
I am extremely proud of what we achieved in my 7 years at the helm of the city and it was a great honour to be able to serve the people of Cape Town.
In 2016 I was the face of the DA’s campaign to be re-elected to govern the City and the DA campaigned in Cape Town, and across the country, on the back of those achievements.
In Cape Town we were rewarded for our record of delivery, in the 2011 – 2016 term of office, with a resounding win and two-thirds of the vote.
Even though we had achieved a lot, I was the first to admit that there was still so much to be done to redress the centuries of oppression and exclusion.
I vowed to focus on addressing the apartheid spatial plan of our city which persists and which relegates poor, mostly black and coloured families, to continued exclusion.
It was at this point that a cabal within the DA turned against me.
Over the past 18 months I have endured the most vile and relentless dirty-tricks campaign to get rid of me as Mayor of Cape Town and to damage my reputation.
I have spent my entire life fighting for a society that is just, fair and caring and I will never rest until this is achieved.
I fought against the might of the apartheid regime.
I fought against the powerful ANC elite when I exposed the corrupt arms-deal.
The attack on my character, reputation and values by the DA cabal is nothing like I have ever experienced.
The DA borrowed deeply from apartheid era tactics – sham investigations with pre-determined outcomes, false criminal charges and forged documents.
Their conduct shocked me. It was so obviously motivated by malice and hate. I had to ask myself what I had done to earn this level of hatred.
It was hatred so deep and irrational that it was de-human.
It became clear that the project Helen Zille and I agreed on in 2010, to create a viable alternative to the ANC, was no longer underpinned by the values I believed in and on which the DA campaigned.
The DA had used and abused me. I was in an abusive relationship and the abuser could not be rehabilitated.
I was there when the democratic South Africa was negotiated and I was there when the Constitution was written. I know my rights. I fought for those rights.
I turned to the judiciary to enforce and protect my rights against a DA that was hell-bent on removing me as Mayor – flouting natural rules of justice, its own constitution as well as the constitution of South Africa.
My faith in the courts was not misplaced. The Western Cape High Court ruled in my favour 3 out of 3 times.
Through its conduct the DA exposed to me that they are not a party that truly believes in constitutionalism and the rule of law, they do not believe in truth, they do not believe in redress and they do not believe their own four core values of freedom, fairness, opportunity and diversity.
This said, one of the lessons Tata Madiba taught me after his 27 years of incarceration is that if he can forgive his oppressors, I can also forgive them.
Over the past two weeks I have done as I said I would do. I have taken time to consult with my family, friends and mentors.
I have listened to the thousands of people who have reached out to me directly.
I have considered close to thousands of thousands requests, from people across our city to continue to serve our country and to start a new political movement.
I have done an IPSOS survey that confirms support.
I also received a signal from Mamma.
The things I believe in, and have fought for my entire life, remain my guide. My values remain steadfast.
Politics as usual has failed too many South Africans and our people have lost faith in politics and politicians.
God-forbid they should lose faith in our democracy because the people in politics have not lived up to the privilege and responsibility to serve.
It is time for a new political order.
Duty and service runs through my blood so I am here to announce that I will continue to avail myself to serve my country which I love.
I am motivated by the same level of outrage at the state of our country as I was 50 years ago when I was outraged by the cruelty and illegality of apartheid.
And I am responding to the call to act.
I will be launching a new political party that will contest the 2019 elections nationally and in all 9 provinces.
Our party will put people before politics. We will be on the ground – not just sitting in parliament.
Our party will build a better country for the next generations.
We will look after families and educate to liberate.
We will be a party of action. Less talk and more action.
We will clean up our country and politics.
We will make change happen for the greater good.
My exposure to, and my being the target of, pure hatred tested my beliefs.
I am happy to say that I still believe in good.
I believe in a good South Africa.
Where every child will be born in a good hospital where good doctors provide good healthcare.
Their home will be a good house in a good community where there’s a good school.
They’ll get a good education, a good foundation, with good values, to live and learn and play and grow and know what it means to be good.
In a good South Africa there will be good opportunities to get a good job that offers good reward for good work.
To live a good life, and share, live and care and know what it means to be good.
In a good South Africa we will fight corruption and stand up against racism by doing what is good because we will know what it means to be good.
Racial division, prejudice and inequality continues to exist in our society. My great fear is that our next generation of young South Africans will carry forward with them, the tensions that exists between difference races in our country.
We will not allow racists to speak for us.
Today, I am inviting all South Africans who are in search of something new that will disrupt our current political system to join me.
I am making a call for you to do something good. To join me in doing something good for our country.
When good people do nothing, evil prospers.
I anticipate that my announcement today will unleash a new level of dirty-tricks and a fierce campaign to discredit me and all those who join me in standing up for good.
In my 24 years of serving in elected office I have witnessed the goodness of all South Africans.
Politicians, and politics, so very often suffocates that inherent goodness.
I want to end that with a new style of politics where youth and experience, men and women, are united at the forefront of making change happen for the good.
It was Tata Madiba who said:
“No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite”.
Since Tata Madiba left us, no single leader in our country has shown any real leadership and embarked on any meaningful reforms to bring about reconciliation and unity in our country.
Today is an invitation for South Africans who believe in the good to join me.
My plan is to continue engaging with all South Africans over the coming weeks.
Later this year I will unveil a party name and brand along with a suite of more detailed policy positions.
In January 2019 we will launch our campaign for a good South Africa.
Cities and towns are the heart of our nation.
Our country will progress when our cities and towns work.
I intend to use my experience in leading one of the greatest cities in the world for the good of our nation and our provinces.
Please go to www.forgood.org.za to sign up or show your support.