2018 heralds many dreams, opportunities, expectations and challenges for citizens and leadership.
All eyes are on the ANC’s new national leadership who elected Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa as the new party leader. This, while the country gears up for the highly anticipated 2019 national elections following a disastrous 2017 when President Jacob Zuma was criticised for spending more time in court than governing. The party’s stalwarts and veterans, under the ‘For the Sake of Our Future’ banner welcomed Ramaphosa’s victory at the elective conference against Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, former head of the African Union and Zuma’s ex-wife.
In a statement, the stalwarts said despite the tough task facing Ramaphosa, they hope his leadership will be the breath of fresh air the nation has been waiting for.
“Given the present challenges to the party, real party unity can only be built on our historic principles, values and integrity as exposed and practised by former party president Oliver Tambo. We will continue to demand a radical departure from the unacceptable tolerance of corruption that permeated all parts of the economy. There can be no place in the ANC, government, the civil service, [as well as] the public and private sectors for those involved in corrupt activities, irrespective of their position. Justice must be seen to take its course, objectively without fear or favour,” read the statement.
The stalwarts emphasised that real action against corruption should happen as soon as possible, starting with the urgent appointment of a new head of the National Prosecuting Authority. Law enforcement agencies should also be depoliticised.
“The party members and those in leadership must be informed that the days of unacceptable behaviour are over. A starting point and a clear message to the country should be the recall of President Zuma and, to let his wish to have his day in court become a reality.”
The statement added that the elective conference results should be the end of a sad period in the party’s and country’s history. The necessary and urgent need for honest reflection on the party’s internal organisation should be key as well as it’s transformation it into a political party relevant to the electorate it must commit to serve.
“The signal that this truly is the beginning of the end will be a decisive end to the scourge of corruption.”
A similar call for Zuma’s recall was also made by Archbishop Thabo Makgoba during a Christmas Eve sermon. Makgoba urged the party to act quickly and decisively to replace Zuma and to follow this up with a targeted cabinet reshuffle.
“I cannot see how two centres of power in the party and the state can collaborate when their values are diametrically opposed.” He urged the party to set a new course with members of parliament‚ acting boldly and quickly to replace Zuma or, risk being seen as a failed liberation movement and losing power in the 2019 national elections.
Other anti-Zuma sentiments have urged for his recall at the first meeting of the party’s new national executive committee and have urged that Zuma should not be allowed to present the state of the nation address on 8 January.