Zuma Must Go – AngloGold Ashanti Chair States
Pityana, who received a standing ovation at the one of the major events on the mining calendar for Gauteng on Wednesday, 5 October, labelled South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma as a president “who lacks integrity”, “without honour” and a “chief of corruption.”
“We’ve also seen churches voice their concern at our leadership and the state of our nation. Civil society is speaking out, with a growing chorus including non-governmental organisations, students and academics. We have seen more urgency from opposition political parties, and there is a growing clamour on social media saying one thing, which I agree with “Zuma must go””.
He said that even within the African National Congress (ANC) alliance, people are finding their voice.
“The SACP is increasingly making it clear that it is unhappy with the direction the current leadership is taking. Trade unions inside Cosatu are breaking ranks, and even individual ANC branches, and lobby groups such as those who organised to #OccupyLuthuliHouse, are saying enough is enough. The stakes for those inside the alliance are impossibly high — yet they have found the courage to challenge their peers.
“And whilst business has made some tentative steps toward confronting the threat, these are nowhere near clear or insistent enough. The fact is that if we each continue to keep our heads down, protecting our own, narrow self-interest, the business environment that we are so desperately trying to protect with our silence will simply become unmanageable. The reality is that a growing number of people and groups in civil society agree that the spigots of corruption have been opened wide, and they’re draining the very lifeblood from our economy.
“We can agree that we live in a democratic society, and that we have a Constitution that is worth protecting. We can find common cause in the belief that we deserve better leadership than we have at the moment, and that we demand clean, transparent and an accountable government that has the best interests of its citizens at heart. We can agree, and must agree, that under Zuma, the government is incapable of genuine reform. And, therefore, he must go.”
Pityana said that the elephant in the room is a “President who lacks integrity and lacks honour”.
“None of the promises he makes to any segment of society can be held on to, because he lacks integrity. This requires courage. It requires steadfastness. It requires solidarity. It requires that business and others act together in solidarity. It requires us to listen to one another. And it requires us to do this now. We have to seize the moment, and save South Africa before it’s too late,” he urged.
He added that the country’s ‘young’ democracy was facing its sternest test yet on a number of fronts. “And whilst there is an astonishingly enthusiastic effort in some quarters of government to defend – and indeed advance – the interests of individuals close to the centre of power, there doesn’t appear to be the same zeal for dealing with the more desperate, pressing issues that require leadership and courage to resolve.”
“There are very few among us in this room who would dispute that South Africa is in crisis. It’s a crisis spanning the economy, society, and the political sphere. It’s a crisis fueled by patronage, corruption, mismanagement, unchecked power and widespread apathy. It is a crisis that compels me to persist with my call urging every proud citizen to join the movement to save South Africa.”