Johannesburg (AFP) – South African opposition parties, religious groups and civil society activists on Thursday launched a new alliance to try to force President Jacob Zuma to step down.
Called the Freedom Movement and backed by retired archbishop Desmond Tutu, it plans to hold a mass rally on April 27, the annual holiday marking South Africa’s first post-apartheid election in 1994.
Zuma’s sacking of respected finance minister Pravin Gordhan last month fanned years of public anger over government corruption scandals, record unemployment and slowing economic growth.
“Never before has there been a more urgent need to build unity of purpose to stop South Africa’s current trajectory,” said the movement at its launch in Soweto, a hotbed of the struggle against apartheid.
Tutu, seen as the country’s leading moral authority, said in a tweet that he supported the movement, adding “it is important that we unite as South Africans to bring an end to state capture.”
“State capture” is a term that refer to the alleged corruption among Zuma and his associates.
Tens of thousands of South Africans have in recent weeks staged demonstrations demanding Zuma’s resignation.
The main opposition Democratic Alliance party and several small opposition parties backed the alliance as well as some trade unions and the National Religious Council.
Southern Africa Conference of Catholic Bishops
The Justice and Peace Commission of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) has called on all political parties to avoid making statements that could incite election violence and civil war.Bishop Abel Gabuza‚ the chairperson of the SACBC Justice and Peace Commission‚ issued the call on Monday in response to the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema‚ who said during a televised interview that if the ANC continues to respond violently to peaceful protests‚ “We will run out of patience very soon and we will remove this government through the barrel of a gun” Continue reading Malema and other political parties must stop ‘the war talk’→
This morning the Constitutional Court delivered a judgment in the Nkandla Application. In summary the Court found the following:
o That the recommendations of the Public Protector were binding
o That the binding nature of the Public Protector’s remedial action is determined on a case-by-case basis with regard to the nature of the dispute
o That the Public Protector’s remedial action cannot merely be ignored
o That the National Assembly’s institution of a parallel process was not itself unlawful but that in attempting to replace the binding report of the Public Protector, the National Assembly acted unconstitutionally and in breach of its duty to hold the executive accountable
o That the President should pay back a reasonable portion of the money spent on non-security upgrades and reprimand the responsible ministers for their role in the project.
o That the President acted unlawfully and in breach of his constitutional duties to the Republic Continue reading STATEMENT ON THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT RULING: NKANDLA→
The Jesuit Institute has issued the following statement today:
The African National Congress (ANC) has historically shown leadership in challenging times. In the early 90’s the leadership of the ANC courageously took the steps needed to bring South Africa back from the brink of civil war. Now, more than ever since then, the ANC needs to courageously steer the country through a mounting crisis: allegations that President Jacob Zuma ceded his executive power to his rich friends – the Gupta family. These allegations are serious because they are a gross violation of his oath of office in which he promises to devote himself to the well-being of the Republic and all of its people. Continue reading South Africa: Jesuit Institute urges ANC to ‘act for the common good’→
South African President Jacob Zuma has delivered his annual State of the Nation address in the country’s parliament. After more than an hour of disruptions and interruptions, mostly by members of the opposition Economic Freedom Fighters, Zuma finally got down to business. Or did he?
The Conversation Africa’s Politics and Society editor Thabo Leshilo and Voice of Wits presenter Tsholofelo Semenya put some questions to Professor Susan Booysen. You can listen to the audio or read the transcript below.
South Africa is quickly running out of maize as the El Nino drought deepens. Like many other countries in southern Africa, South Africa is experiencing its worst drought in decades. As the current crop withers due to extreme heat and little rainfall, food prices are rising and may be out of reach for million.
A devastating drought caused by adverse effects of El Nino has left South Africa exposed to a serious food security threat. El Nino is a global climate phenomenon characterized by the warming of ocean surface temperatures in equatorial parts of the Pacific and recurs every few years. Continue reading South African Maize Silos Dried By Deepening Drought→
“THE PURSUIT OF COMMON GOOD MUST BE THE PRIMARY GOAL”
The Jesuit Institute South Africa has joined a chorus of voices from all sectors of South African society expressing serious concern over the removal of Nhlanha Nene as the country’s Minister of Finance. The institute says: “This move, announced by President Jacob Zuma, spells disaster for the stability of an embattled economy and raises questions about his ability to lead.
Moments after the announcement was made the local currency plummeted, hitting an all time low against the US dollar. Zuma offered no explanation for what seems to be a grossly irresponsible decision.
There seems to be no doubt that the President fired Nene because he would not allow Zuma and some of his cadres to spend money recklessly, for personal gain, and in so doing risk the integrity of the Treasury.
Nene insisted on tight fiscal discipline in the face of a growing deficit and a worrying economic forecast.
Nene did not bow to political pressure. He would not sanction the revision of a deal to buy new aircraft for South African Airways. The airline’s board chairperson, Dudu Myeni (who is also chair of the Jacob Zuma Foundation), was unhappy and appears to have used her personal relationship with the President to influence this decision. Continue reading South Africa: Jesuit statement on removal of finance minister→