Man­dela Foun­da­tion urges JZ to quit

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS - NONI MOKATI

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.

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