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Kathrada Foundation: Recall Jacob Zuma now

ANC delegates from around the country converging at Nasrec Expo Centre this weekend have a moral duty towards South Africa to recall President Jacob Zuma from office.

The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation calls on delegates to put the country’s needs first and take a resolution that would see President Zuma being recalled from office.

ANC delegates have the opportunity to ensure that the man who has betrayed the hopes and dreams of the people of South Africa no longer leads the country.

Court decisions over the last few days have left South Africans with little doubt about who and what the real burden is to our society, our economy and the increasingly tense political terrain. President Zuma has come to represent and symbolise much of what is wrong in society as the head of a state that has been fraught with repeated scandals of state capture, corruption, maladministration, poor governance, disregard for Constitution and a plummeting economy.

President Zuma was this week found to be in “flagrant disregard” of his Constitutional duties towards the public protector and was ordered to personally pay the costs of attempting to interdict the release of the State of Capture Report and to set aside its recommendations. The judiciary established a clear time-frame for the establishment of a commission of inquiry into state capture, the head of whom President Zuma would not be allowed to appoint due to “being at the centre of allegations regarding the Gupta family’s involvement in the appointment of Cabinet Ministers”.

This comes hot on the heels of a Court ruling around the irregular appointment of Shaun Abrahams, curtailing the President from appointing a new National Director of Public Prosecutions because of his conflict of interest in the matter.

If the Court decisions over the last few days are not enough, then we remind ANC delegates about the Nkandla ruling, where President Zuma was found to have “failed to uphold, defend and respect the Constitution as the supreme law of the land”.

The rulings are further substantiated by the damning revelations and details around state capture made available in the South African Council of Churches’ Unburdening Panel Report and the in Public Affairs Research Institute’s State Capture Report, through the #GuptaLeaks emails, in books and in numerous investigative articles.

Just recently, the elders of the liberation movement, the ANC stalwarts and veterans, held a National Consultative Conference, where they called on “President Zuma, for the sake of our future, to resign with immediate effect because he has let the ANC, our people and country down”.

Their words echo that of Umkhonto we Sizwe commander and former Robben Island prisoner, Laloo Chiba, who passed away this last week. Chiba had in 2016 written to President Zuma, stating:

“Increasingly, it has become more and more difficult to defend the Organisation and to justify the actions of the government…The crucial question therefore arises as to what is the way forward. A variety of solutions to this crisis have been proposed in a number of initiatives that have been undertaken – among them that the President should call it a day and step down with immediate effect. I support those who have made this call.

“While such a call on its own cannot resolve the myriad challenges facing the ANC, I am of the view that it nevertheless has the merit of constituting an important beginning to the much-needed and difficult process of revitalising our Organisation, and restoring it to its former glory. Such a beginning is bound to go a long way in instilling our people with a sense of renewed hope and confidence in our Organisation and in the future.”

On the occasion of the ANC’s 54th National Conference, we implore ANC delegates to once again read Rivonia Trialist Ahmed Kathrada’s 2016 letter to President Zuma. In it, he questioned, “Dear Comrade President‚ don’t you think your continued stay as president will only serve to deepen the crisis of confidence in the government of the country?”

Kathrada believed that President Zuma’s leaving office would “help the country to find its way out of a path that it never imagined it would be on‚ but one that it must move out of soon”.

He stated, “To paraphrase the famous MK slogan of the time‚ there comes a time in the life of every nation when it must choose to submit or fight. Today I appeal to our president to submit to the will of the people and resign.”

Today, we appeal to you, the ANC delegates, to submit to the what is the interest of our country and our collective future, and ensure that President Zuma is recalled from office.