Civil so­ci­ety ratch­et­ing up the pres­sure for Zuma to go

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS - NONI MOKATI

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

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