Following series of controversial issues surrounding the president and his alleged manipulations to cover up all his corrupt acts, South Africa’s politician and one-time finance minister, Trevor Manuel said Zuma is still after his self-interest above that of the country which he heads.
Manuel who was South Africa’s Finance Minister from 1996 to 2009, said this while speaking with Business Day editor about perceived state capture and the problems facing the country.
Relating his shock at Zuma’s court interdict of Thuli’s state capture report and the Guptas argument on the same issue, Manuel said this was a clear indication that the president has no respect for the independence of Chapter 9 institutions.
“This year has seen, I don’t know how a court would respond to the interdict applied for, but this year’s been rather significant in the context of dealing with the Chapter 9 institutions in general and the public protector in particular,” he said, pointing out that Chapter 9 institutions advance collective interests.
“But it’s unfortunate the SA has a head of state who places his own interests above those of the republic. I take a very grim view of that.
Speaking on the public call for Zuma to step down and SA’s future if Zuma refuses to resign as he allegedly said, Trevor Manuel recounted that SA’s problems have gone way beyond focusing on a single individual.
He went on to say that what South Africa needs at the moment is a national conversation. “…One of the core issues under, broadly, a theory of change, is active citizen, [sic] and I fervently believe that there are things that we have to do, and sometimes there will be small victories,” he said.
Manuel said South Africans need to discuss a way out of the corruption that has eaten deep into the country’s system, especially in the education system.
“Our problem is that there is this big divide in education between schools in leafy suburbs and schools in townships and rural areas. And part of the divide is in some of the schools, school governing bodies work and they work remarkably well and for the bulk of no-fee schools, they don’t work.
“Now if you can score big victory by encouraging a community to support parents who will become the parental part of the school governing body and you begin to turn those schools around, you’ve got active citizens who are planning victories and I think many of our victories will be planned in a kind of way,” Trevor Manuel said.