This was the message delivered by DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane MP, at a press briefing held in Parliament, Cape Town. Maimane was joined by the DA’s Chief Whip in the National Assembly, John Steenhuisen MP.
Maimane said on almost every front, and in almost every community, SA faces unprecedented crises that threaten to undermine the progress the nation made since the birth of democracy in 1994.
“Our economy is flirting dangerously with recession with no leadership from the President to turn this around. Close to 9 million South Africans still cannot find a job in order to provide for themselves and their loved ones. Zuma’s “nine-point plan” to grow the economy and create jobs is so underwhelming even the President himself cannot recite the plan, nevermind implement it.
“Our higher education sector, essential for providing skills for the economy and helping young South Africans access opportunities, is on the brink of collapse, starved of funding and leadership by the ANC government. Police clash with students, while our campuses burn. This negatively affects all of our futures, yet President Zuma remains nowhere to be found,” he said.
Maine also laid emphasis on the state of the country’s State-owned Enterprises. he said these are hot-beds of corruption as “we throw billions of rands down the drain” to rescue these money suckers, with pro-Zuma ANC cadres unwilling to make the changes needed for recovery.
In this same atmosphere Jacob Zuma is in the process of shackling SA to a trillion rand nuclear deal it cannot afford or need.
“Jacob Zuma continues his personal project of state capture, as our institutions of state are flooded with Zuma’s “yes-men”. Private interests, like those of the Guptas, are now unofficial members of the Cabinet, shaping decisions that should be in the public interest. The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has also become the newest weapon in Zuma’s defence arsenal which he uses to settle scores, and ultimately stay in power.
“This has recently culminated in the suspicious charges of fraud brought against the Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan, which has created a real fear that the President is determined to get rid of the one set of stable hands in government still available to navigate our country through these troubled times – and in turn hold the keys to Treasury.”
Maine said the one constant in all of these disasters is Zuma and nothing will change until SA rid itself of this man.
“How could we forget that this is a man that began his presidency with 783 charges of fraud, corruption and racketeering hanging over his “ugly head of impunity”. And he has continued to encourage and promote the cancer of corruption that steals jobs and opportunities from our people.
“As a nation, we must be honest and ask ourselves how long we are prepared to wait. How long can we continue to allow Jacob Zuma to break our economy, and ruin the future of millions of South Africans?”
despite all this, the ANC has been “diligently protected Jacob Zuma collectively over his 7 year term”.
But, said Mamane, there are signs that the ANC is done with witnessing the damage Zuma continues to inflict.
“Many senior ANC members, both inside and outside the party, have publicly taken a stand against Jacob Zuma and his project of State Capture. Prominent figures such as Trevor Manuel, Ahmed Kathrada, Sipho Pityana, Mathews Phosa, and Denis Goldberg, have all spoken out against Zuma, calling for his resignation. Within Zuma’s own cabinet, ministers have begun to speak out in this regard…
“There was unanimity in the view that the Movement … was plagued by credibility and image challenges which is a consequence of either its inaction or action in dealing with certain issues that confronted it…”
But the real question is, re-iterated Maimane, how do people ensure comments against Zuma are not merely hot air. Party members need to take a stand to take action and dismiss Zuma to allow SA to move forward again.
“As the DA, we have explored how best to create a constitutional platform in which effect can be given to such public overtures. This so that ANC MPs and Cabinet Ministers, who seemingly reserve their outrage for selective quotes in Sunday newspapers, are afforded the opportunity make their voices heard when it matters most. That the ANC itself can put its money where its mouth is and show South Africa that it and Jacob Zuma are not one in the same.
“It is this for this reason, after much consideration, the DA has taken a decision to table a motion of no confidence in the President of the Republic this term, before the end of the year is done.”
Maine said this motion is not about the Democratic Alliance but about the African National Congress. “Because, it will present the party with two very clear choices. Either, its Parliamentary Caucus could appreciate the current societal malaise, introspect, and vote with conscience in supporting the motion to remove Jacob Zuma from office. Or, the 246 member caucus, including Cabinet Ministers, can choose to come to this Parliament when we debate this motion, and defend the indefensible at all costs, ultimately telling all 53 million South Africans that the ANC has full confidence in President Jacob Zuma and his leadership.”
He said this is a golden opportunity for the ANC to stop playing “hot potato” politics; “we all know the root cause of our country’s current turmoil, and the time for passing blame is over”.