Just when I thought that I was done with politics for the week, things start getting interesting again…
The Reverend Barney Pityana, a former leader in the Black Consciousness Movement with Steve Biko, has called for President Jacob Zuma to resign in an open letter. Pityana who presided over the South African Human Rights Commission between 1995 and 2001, wrote at great length:
I write this letter with a simple request: that you resign from all public office, especially that of President and Head of State of the Republic of South Africa.
I am, of course, aware that you have been re-elected President of the African National Congress, the majority party in our National Assembly. I am also aware that, in terms of our electoral system, that allows the ANC to present you as a candidate to the National Assembly and use their majority therein to put you in office, without much ado. It would also appear that by its recent vote the African National Congress has expressed confidence in your leadership. You can then understand that I am taking an extraordinary step, and I can assure you one that has been carefully considered, in asking for your resignation.
Our country is in shambles, and the quality of life of millions of ordinary South Africans is deteriorating. Confidence in our country, and its economic and political system, is at an all-time low. There is reason to believe that ordinary South Africans have no trust in your integrity as a leader, or in your ability to lead and guide a modern constitutional democracy that we aspire to become. That, notwithstanding the fact that our Constitution puts very minimal requirements for qualification as a public representative including the highly esteemed office of President and Head of State, and Head of the Executive. What is clear, at the very least, is that the President must have the means and the inclination to promote and defend the Constitution, and uphold the well being of all South Africans. I have reason to believe that, notwithstanding the confidence that your party has placed on you, you have demonstrated that you no longer qualify for this high office on any of the counts stated above…
The immediate question in my mind is whether Zuma’s resignation will be enough to arrest the slide this country is currently in? I think not. The rot does not stop with him. It is so deep and pervasive, that a simple excision may not be enough.
The proper thing would be for the entire cabinet to resign en-masse. With the exception of a handful of Ministers and Deputy Ministers, this cabinet is without question one of the most incompetent we have ever had, and I include apartheid era bureaucrats as well. Coupled with incompetence, this administration has been embroiled in far too many scandals involving corruption, cronyism, disdain for the electorate, and gross arrogance.
I believe that there are still enough people of good moral fibre and competence left in this organization to take over the reigns. Oh yes, their will be turmoil for a while, but we as citizens need to bite the bullet for a short while, in the quest for a better country – one that was promised us by Nelson Mandela, who we honour this week after his sad passing away.