While Zuma prepares for his usual annual address on the state of the Nation, hundreds of South Africans converged at St George’s Cathedral in Cape Town to listen to Save SA’s ‘real SONA’ instead of Zuma’s ‘usual’.
South Africans, particularly the youths, reportedly joined the campaign group on Wednesday to say they were completely fed up with Zuma’s usual, which according to them have had no positive effect on the country.
Speakers from the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), Sonke Gender Justice and Young African Innovators who spoke during the event, said Zuma’s government had no regards for young women and had not given the youths promising opportunities.
“We need to empower women in South Africa. Violence and HIV are exacerbated when manhood is equated with dominance over women, the abuse of alcohol and when the belief that men must be independent and not seek help exists,” said Sonke Gender Justice representative Nthabi Pooe as he demands an action plan to address violence, and call on men, church and traditional leaders to take a stand against violence against women.
“None of this can happen while corruption thrives because legitimate programmes suffer,” he added during Save SA’s ‘real SONA’
Similarly, Neliswa Nkwali of the TAC spoke about the state of the country’s health sector saying its failure is as a result of a high level of corruption, especially among politicians.
South Africans could not be silent when the health system was in crisis, Nkwali said, “It’s in crisis because of corruption, because Zuma wants to build more Nkandlas in South Africa. We can’t be silent when four rape cases are reported each and every day in our country,”
“Because of corruption, there is no staff to deal with it at our centres. We are saying, down with Zuma, down.”
Like the groups who spoke, Save SA’s convenor and businessman Sipho Pityana, called for South African citizens to pressure President Jacob Zuma to end the country’s nightmare by taking a bold step down.
In Save SA’s ‘real SONA’ Pityana urged the Speaker of the House in Parliament, Baleka Mbete to not address President Zuma as “honourable” when she invites him to present his usual talks.
Instead‚ Parliament should be telling us when it intends to hold him to account following the Constitutional Court judgment on the Secure in Comfort Report” relating to use of taxpayer funds on his private homestead at Nkandla, he said as he accused President Zuma of tearing the country apart.
“In President Zuma‚ we have a wounded tiger‚ unleashed by its handlers to sow mayhem and destruction‚ at great cost to both our nation and the ANC as he spends this year seeking to regain lost ground. He’ll be dishing out a long list of scapegoats for his litany of failures. This‚ as a prelude to his ill-conceived‚ yet destructive actions that he is set to take this year,” Said Pityana.
Concluding his “real state of the nation address” Sipho Pityana says he hopes Thursday will be Zuma’s last address to South Africans as he looks forward to seeing Zuma finally stepping down as president.
He said the country has lost the majority of its economic gains since Zuma came to power and that the president’s handling of the deaths of 94 psychiatric patients in Gauteng showed a lack of compassion for his people.
Save SA’s ‘Real SONA’, an Insult to Zuma
The youth wing of the ruling ANC, has come against Save SA’s ‘real SONA’, saying its an insult to the president.
Coming to Zuma’s defence, a former KwaZulu-Natal ANCYL leader said on Wednesday said the move by the Save SA group were reckless and dangerous move that could provoke citizens of this country to defend the sovereignty of the republic.
The former ANCYL leader said he did not speak for members of the ANC and was not an ANC member. He was disturbed that Pityana was using churches and religious leaders as a platform to make derogatory statements about a democratically-elected government.