Members of the Concerned Citizens Forum joined the masses in the call for President Zuma to resign but this time, the group presented two options for the president to choose from. The protesters say Zuma must resign or take a sabbatical leave.
The nine protesters who were accompanied by a van fitted with a loudspeaker, marched round the city from Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown after which they proceeded to Luthuli House in central Johannesburg where they submitted their memorandum which read:
“We acknowledge the work that the ANC has done for our country … but the ANC has reached a stage where its so-called good story has become a sour story to tell … yes, we agree that nobody must tell you to remove your president except your members …
We wish to remind you he is also our president and therefore we have a right to voice our frustration.
Seeing we have no legal instrument to remove the president, as citizens we appeal for the president to step down or alternatively take a sabbatical leave. This would be good for his own health.”
The memorandum was submitted to Babylon Xeketwana, from the office of the ANC deputy secretary-general, Jessie Duarte.
During their protest, the van that accompanied them played a recording of Nelson Mandela’s inauguration speech: “Never and never again …”, followed by the national anthem and Shosholoza.
Speaking on their aim for the protest, the group’s convener Ray Russon said they represent no political group.
“It is not the number of people who came with us,” said the convener Ray Russon. “It is the people we are representing – church leaders, unions, non-profit organisations and ordinary citizens who are not happy with what is happening in our country.”
Ever since the court ruling against President Zuma in March, thousands have joined the call for Zuma to step down but the ruling ANC are yet to oblige to the call. Instead, the party calls on the country to allow Zuma finish up his tenure or be patient for all its branches to deliberate on it.
But reacting to the stance of the ANC, Russon said the nation had already spoken out against Zuma and the ruling party had to oblige.