Mandela Foundation urges JZ to quit
PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma has been urged yet again to heed calls for him to step down and respect the constitution.
This time, the call comes from the organisation founded by Nelson Mandela – the man who remains widely respected for his values towards democracy and the manner in which he led the ANC.
In a hard hitting statement, the Nelson Mandela board of trustees last night said the country’s constitutional democracy was under threat and its political process in crisis.
Flanked by board trustee members who included Tokyo Sexwale, Mamphela Ramphele, Irene Menell and Nikiwe Bikitsha, the board’s chairperson Professor Njabulo Ndebele said the crisis was manifested in structural corruption, largely attributed to the arms deal.
“Since then, its tentacles have spread throughout the economy and the public service,” he said.
Ndebele further highlighted that accountability by public officers in the government had been eroded. He said this had led to a significant decline in purposeful and responsible public service.
“No wonder this untenable situation has led to calls across the land for the head of state (Zuma), largely regarded as the author of the current malaise, to vacate the highest office of the state. We urge him to listen to the voice of the people,” said Ndebele.
He also said they were opposed to the ongoing onslaught on the constitution, adding they supported the urgent establishment of a judicial commission of inquiry to expose state capture.
These remarks by the foundation come amid growing pressure by opposition parties and many stalwarts within the ruling party and civil society that have called for the president to resign.
They also come days after some ANC NEC members tabled a motion of no confidence vote against the party leader but failed after being outnumbered by Zuma loyalists.
Some of Mandela’s family members have also decried the crisis the ANC.
Early this year, Mandela’s granddaughter Ndileka Mandela said she would not vote for the ANC in the future as the party no longer held the values her grandfather strove for.
Nelson Mandela Foundation chief executive Sello Hatang noted that the sentiments by the trustees were spurred by their will to protect the constitution and were not fixated on an individual.
“Let us resist the urge of being forgetful about what happened in 2007, which focused on a leader,” he said, referring to the removal of then President Thabo Mbeki. Hatang said collectively society had to actively participate and do away with everything wrong that is happening around that leader.
Ndebele said Trustee members had already consulted with the ruling party and the Presidency on the current and worrying state of affairs.