A Civil Society Call to Action
6 APRIL 2016
JOHANNESBURG – South Africa is in a constitutional crisis. The Constitutional Court has spoken. The Public Protector has spoken. The Churches have spoken. The Robben Island prisoners have spoken. They all say or suggest that for the good of the poor and marginalized of South Africa, Jacob Zuma must resign or be recalled by the ANC as President of South Africa.
This is not the South Africa we dreamed of and fought for
President Zuma has become a liability to our beloved country. He has become a President of Impunity. The rot spreads from the top down. Without his removal as a first step we cannot start to reach and rebuild the country of our dreams.
Let us remind you. Under President Jacob Zuma:
- 34 mineworkers were massacred at Marikana for the ‘crime’ of demanding a living wage;
- The President’s private homestead at Nkandla was declared a national key point and had hundreds of millions of rand lavished on it;
- Waterkloof airport base was made a national key-point for Gupta Airways;
- A home in Saxonwold seems to have been made a key point for Ministerial appointments;
- A competent Finance Minister was fired irrationally, causing our economy untold damage, worsened the conditions of workers and intensified the pain of the unemployed;
- The Treasury, SARS and other key government departments have been destabilized;
- The countries’ prime crime fighting agencies, the Hawks and the NPA, have been captured and are being used to fight factional battles;
- Unemployment has reached catastrophic levels, with 8.3 million in the streets and a staggering 60% of youth out of jobs. More workers are being outsourced and casualised. 13 million of our people go to bed on empty stomachs, while the government tells us that 53% of the population live in poverty.
- South Africa continues to deindustrialize, with hundreds of thousands of workers losing their jobs.
- We are now the most unequal society in the world. Our education system is in a crisis, together with a public healthcare system that continues to offer second-class citizen services.
- Corruption continues unabated with big corporates taking $29 billion out of the economy in illicit transfers.
We have become a country in permanent political crisis. It is most likely that we will witness the reinstatement of charges or corruption against President Zuma; then ‘junk status’; then rising inflation; rising petrol prices; rising food prices, rising hunger, rising despair. If we don’t come together as citizens to address this crisis, our country is going to explode. We demand that Jacob Zuma resign as President of South Africa without delay.
People of South Africa, let us mobilise and stand up for the country we want.
The country we want is a country where government is open and accountable to the people. The country we want is a county that does not tolerate any corruption; that puts quality basic education for our children at the top of national priorities; that will prioritise free quality tertiary education for those that qualify but cannot afford it; that sees unemployment as a painful and degrading national crisis, that is sympathetic with the hunger that gnaws in millions of bellies.
Another South Africa is definitely possible
We are South Africans who represent good. We are South Africans who will make personal sacrifices for equality and social justice. We are South Africans who take our Constitution seriously.
We come from diverse backgrounds. We have put aside ideologies, religious differences, class differences to advance what we have in common. In short, we are a strong voice for justice and social well-being.
Today we are calling on all South Africans to make their voices heard. Today we announce a rolling plan of mobilization, conversation and action to put the people back at the centre of our politics and economy.
On Saturday, 16th April 2016, we call on people to hold organised discussions in villages, townships, churches, mosques, informal settlements, sports clubs and cultural associations about how we can secure the resignation of President Zuma. We call on you to discuss what is wrong with the country and, more importantly, what is needed to put it right.
On Saturday 16 April we will organise a national consultation at the Regina Mundi church in Soweto to hear the voices of ordinary people and people’s organisations. We call on you to drop any other plan you have and join that dialogue.
Freedom Day April 27 is around the corner. We call on everyone to make this a day of action. This year we must use Freedom Day to reclaim a freedom that has been stolen by Zuma and all who are like him.
This campaign for Jacob Zuma to do the right thing and step down will not stop until the head of the rot is removed. And when we succeed we shall remain vigilant. We do not seek one thief to be replaced with another thief.