There was a gathering of some illustrious members of the civil society and the ANC on the steps of the Constitutional Court on Wednesday demanding that President Jacob Zuma must go as he has been bedeviled by numerous scandals recently.
They termed the gathering “a civil society call to action” where some prominent members of the society attended.
Last week’s Constitutional Court judgment found Zuma guilty of failing to uphold the Constitution when he did not comply with Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s remedial action regarding payment for the non-security upgrades done to his Nkandla homestead. The court’s ruling sparked off several criticisms and angry reactions from South Africans who insist that President Zuma must go.
“This campaign for Jacob Zuma to do the right thing and step down will not stop until the head of the rot is removed,” they said.
“And when we succeed, we shall remain vigilant. We do not seek one thief to be replaced with another thief.”
The group also called on all South Africans to make Freedom Day on April 27 “a day of action”.
Below Is A List of Prominent People Who Said Zuma Must Go
Cheryl Carolus – Former ANC Deputy Secretary-General
Carolus made it clear that her presence at the campaign was not because she was an aggrieved member of the ANC, but that Tuesday’s debate in Parliament was a “frog in the pot moment for many of us,” she stated.
She expressed her regret in the way things turned out which makes her feel obliged to step in and do something about it.
“I was deeply saddened and thought… this has happened on our watch and all of us need to wake up and fix this on our watch or history has every right to judge us. I never thought I would stand up in public and say how deeply sad I am about what happens in my Parliament…”
She said everyone in the ANC needed to stand up and all SA prominent people and decent citizens needed to take some responsibility and say “this has got to stop”.
“I am taking a stand,” Carolus said.
Zak Yacoob – Former Constitutional Court Justice
Yacoob admitted that the blame should not be dumped on Zuma alone but on the ANC as a whole. He stated that the ANC members stood and watched while a lot of things went wrong without doing anything about it. However, he was also of the opinion that Zuma must go.
“You must know that the majority of the ANC national executive committee (NEC) could rule him out of power… and they did not do so. It is our movement which has become tarnished to a degree which needs a lot of cleaning up and the sooner we do it the better,” he said.
Yacoob said ANC leaders had “blindfolded their brains”.
He urged all ANC national executive committee members, national working committee members and cabinet ministers to search their conscience and do the right thing just like in the days of apartheid.
“I would like them all not to look at [the] legality; look at your consciences my ex-comrades, look at your consciences very carefully because in those days we spoke out strongly against the apartheid government, despite fears of reprisal.
“This government works in very awkward, horrendous ways so I speak against this government despite the threat of reprisal like I did against the apartheid government and I call upon the African National Congress and the national executive committee to examine their consciences and once and for all to do the right thing… otherwise I will have to appeal to the people to do the right thing later. President please go,” Yacoob said.
Mavuso Msimang – ANC Veteran
A veteran member of the ruling party Mavuso Msimang, said he cannot believe the way things have turned out in the party today and called on SA prominent people who can influence some positive changes to do the right thing and ask Zuma to step down.
“We have heard people say they are very dissatisfied with conduct of President Jacob Zuma… [and] we are told it is the opposition setting up the stage.
“Well the opposition must be having a lot of supporters if everyone in South Africa is saying the same thing. I would like to say that my hope is that it’s not too late for the leadership of the African National Congress to do the right thing and ask the president in everyone’s interest to step down.”
Zwelinzima Vavi – Former Cosatu General Secretary
Vavi who is one of the prominent South Africans present at the campaign said South Africa was going through its “darkest hour” and was in the middle of a serious political and socio-economic crisis.
He described the country as a ship in the deepest ocean, at the darkest hour whose captains have lost their compass and are left blindfolded.
Vavi said Zuma has gone against everything Mandela fought and stood for by was trampling on the Constitution.
“Little did he [Mandela] know that even before we could forget about his funeral, the people who were presiding at his funeral are now standing on his grave, sorry for my language, basically urinating on Nelson Mandela’s grave.
“That is what Jacob Zuma is doing by trampling on the constitution of this land,” he said.
Ronnie Kasrils – Former Intelligence Service Minister
Another prominent South African Ronnie Kasrils said he is indeed proud of the Constitutional Court but unfortunately, he cannot say the same for the legislature and executive.
He enjoined the people of South Africa to stand up against greed and corruption and ensure that these things will not keeping happening.
“There are many among us who say ‘what’s the point of saying President Jacob Zuma [must] go, because he will only be replaced by another thief and crook’, but actually through the power of the people and constitution we are putting down the marker.
“He must go. If we succeed in this, what that marker says to any rising president, premier and mayor… [is] abide by your oath of office… and serve your people and not your friends. Zuma must go,” Kasrils declared.