Civil society ratcheting up the pressure for Zuma to go
PRESSURE is mounting on MPs to vote to oust President Jacob Zuma, as another civil society organisation embarked on a national campaign ahead of next Tuesday’s motion of no confidence debate in Parliament.
Yesterday, some ANC veterans were among the prominent figures in the country who launched the Future South Africa campaign in Auckland Park, saying it was time MPs stepped up and protected the constitution.
“Vote for South Africa, vote for the constitution, vote for the future of your children. Don’t protect the interests of an individual again, whom you know will keep South Africa in a direction that undermines what we dreamt of as a country,” the SA Federation of Trade Unions general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said.
He called on MPs to put the interests of the country above their own.
Vavi’s sentiments echoed those detailed in a statement by Future SA patrons, who include former cabinet minister Sydney Mufamadi, Mahatma Gandhi’s granddaughter Ela Gandhi, AngloGold Ashanti chairperson Sipho Pityana, Business Leadership SA chief executive Bonang Mohale, and retired Constitutional Court judge Zac Yacoob, to name a few.
In their statement, former ambassador to the US Sheila Sisulu said parliamentarians as public representatives were duty bound to vote Zuma out of office and steer the country away from corruption, state capture, inequality and racial tensions.
“Leading up to August 8, we encourage citizens to plan or support initiatives… Already there are signs that pressure being brought to bear by civil society, as well as mass protests, is beginning to bear fruit.
“The cumulative effect of these efforts shows that sustained action against state capture must continue to be supported and intensified, so that we can reclaim our future,” she said.
Sisulu added that sports organisations and faith-based communities were also encouraged to participate and engage in reflection around the issues of state capture as well as pray that MPs put the country first.
“Rebuilding a state with integrity will not happen overnight, it will require consistent work by civil society… work which we pledge to continue doing until we have put South Africa back on the path envisioned in the constitution,” said Sisulu.
Human rights activist and co-ordinator of the Just Energy Future campaign Kumi Naidoo said: “We are saying to the people of South Africa, through this campaign, that this is your country, claim it.
“Get involved. Don’t wait for others.”
Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse chairperson Wayne Duvenage said never before have MPs been faced with so much pressure.
He added that this was a journey the patrons have to commit themselves to in order to root out the tentacles of corruption.
The patrons also emphasised that the Future SA campaign was not intended to replace other movements such as Save South Africa, but merely to mobilise the public towards a call for action.
Members of the public are urged to support a march in Cape Town on the eve of the motion of no confidence vote, to take to the streets to voice their concerns and participate in a series of activities which include switching on their vehicle lights throughout the day to show solidarity.
“The struggle continues beyond August 8. We must continue building unity across sectors and co-ordinate action against state capture and corruption,” Sisulu said.
Vavi said although it could happen that the vote does not take place, patrons would forge ahead by exerting pressure on Zuma to resign.
“Whether there is a vote or the Speaker pulls a trick by announcing at the last minute that she’s not going to allow a secret ballot, it doesn’t matter. This is not a single day campaign, it’s ongoing…”
Future SA is merely to galvanise people