Lobby group Future South Africa has called on ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa to ensure that Jacob Zuma does not deliver the State of the Nation Address (SONA).
In an open letter to the country’s deputy president‚ Future SA implores Ramaphosa “to do what is in the interest of the over 55-million people residing in our country” and not let Zuma deliver SONA‚ scheduled to take place on Thursday in parliament.
The letter describes Zuma as a poor leader‚ who has been “dogged by scandal after scandal”‚ has “flouted the Constitution” and “lacks the credibility and integrity” to lead South Africa.
The organisation’s convener‚ Mandla Nkomfe‚ said in the open letter on Sunday: “Future SA believes that the ANC has been presented with an opportunity to ensure that February 8 can and must be different. This year’s SONA can be an address that honours the decorum and dignity of the House‚ and one that truly takes into consideration the sentiment of the public. It can be one that sets the tone and shows that government‚ and indeed the ruling party‚ is serious about dealing with corruption and tackling state capture.
“For this to happen though‚ President Zuma must be prevented from delivering the SONA.
“The ANC has the power to recall President Zuma from his duties as president of the country before the SONA address and send a clear signal that it is embarking on a new path – a path of true leadership‚ in tune with the needs of the people‚ and committed to good governance and the end of state capture.”
The letter draws a stark contrast between what the organisation believes SONA should be about‚ compared to what it says it has become under Zuma’s reign.
“The SONA…is an important occasion for our country. It’s a moment that highlights government’s central role in the development of the country and the uplifting of our people. It’s an occasion where protocol and symbolism befitting the decorum of the occasion is upheld. It is also an occasion where the integrity‚ transparency and accountability of the state should be on display. It should be an occasion where government is able show that it is indeed in touch with the struggles of ordinary people‚” Nkomfe writes.
“President Jacob Zuma‚ who is set to deliver the SONA‚ unfortunately embodies none of this‚” Nkomfe writes.
He also cites disruptions and clashes between parties in parliament‚ blaming Zuma’s leadership failures and controversies for the goings-on.
Nkomfe writes: “His previous SONA addresses have resulted in members of the opposition staging walkouts. The president’s lack of integrity and accountability became the core focus of the SONA‚ instead of government’s plans for development‚ transformation and upliftment.
“The leadership of the ANC has a responsibility to the people of South Africa – we should not be forced to listen to a president who has long given up the country’s interests for those of a few and who has failed in his undertaking to serve the Republic.
“FutureSA believes that the ANC has been presented with an opportunity to ensure that February 8 can and must be different. This year’s SONA can be an address that honours the decorum and dignity of the House‚ and one that truly takes into consideration the sentiment of the public. It can be one that sets the tone and shows that government‚ and indeed the ruling party‚ is serious about dealing with corruption and tackling state capture.
“For this to happen‚ though‚ President Zuma must be prevented from delivering the SONA.”
The FutureSA letter also praises the good work seen since Ramaphosa was elected ANC president in December – particularly the action being taken at Eskom and the establishment of the long-awaited commission of inquiry into state capture‚ as well as the Asset Forfeiture Unit’s work around the McKinsey/KPMG issue‚ and recent investigations into Estina Dairy Farm – which lead the organisation to believe “there may be some accountability for those who have looted state coffers”. But this would be seriously undermined‚ FutureSA said‚ if Zuma took to the podium at SONA.
“Until he is recalled from office‚ action against state capture will be limited‚ and talk about eradicating corruption will remain hollow‚ and somewhat meaningless‚” the letter concludes.
“Ahead of the SONA‚ you have the opportunity to restore the confidence of citizens of South Africa‚ as well as of people globally. You have a chance to ensure that the vision of the forebears of our democracy‚ the Mandelas‚ Sisulus and Kathradas‚ is put back on track. You have a chance to restore the dignity of the state. We implore you to ensure that that opportunity is not lost. Please recall President Jacob Zuma from office.”
By: Matthew Savides -TimesLIVE
Source: TMG Digital.