Anti-Zuma allies convene conference

MAXIMUM IMPACT: Save South Africa leader Sipho Pityana says the conference will increase pressure on President Zuma to resign. PICTURE: ANN7

IN CONSEQUENCE to the ANC’s failure to remove President Jacob Zuma from office amid calls for his resignation, more than 90 civil society organisations will today gather in Randburg in an attempt to increase the pressure on Zuma.

Co-convener of the Conference for the Future of South Africa and Save South Africa leader Sipho Pityana rubbished Zuma’s leadership, saying it was long overdue for the president to leave office.

“This conference is about combining efforts to maximise impact. The urgency for the president to go has never been greater. The call for Zuma to step down is not just a call by the opposition, it’s a resounding call by the people of South Africa.

“In this context we expect conversation at the conference to be progressive, to stop the Zuma nightmare,” Pityana said.

The conference will be hosted by the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation. It will also see the support from the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa), among others.

ANC MP Makhosi Khoza, stalwart and veteran Frank Chikane and Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) board chairperson Popo Molefe, among others, will be among the keynote speakers.

Pityana, making reference to the upcoming motion of no confidence debate in Zuma, condemned the ANC for placing party members of Parliament (MPs) in an unenviable position of having to toe the party line at the expense of their moral conscience.

“MPs have been put in a grossly unfair position, deciding between the people and the party. I believe it is possible to persuade ANC MPs. A position against Zuma is not a position against the ANC.”

Pityana took aim at Zuma once more, accusing him of artfully kicking for touch in relation to the setting up of a judicial commission of inquiry into allegations of state capture.

“The president knows he cannot appoint the chair of the commission of inquiry into state capture. He is playing delaying tactics.”

ANC Youth League (ANCYL) president Collen Maine however wasted no time in closing ranks behind the president.

He said the governing party would not buckle under the weight of pressure from what he described as “enemies of the ANC”, to determine who should lead the party.

“We will not allow these groups to tell us who must lead the ANC. The president of the ANC will not be removed by these groups,” Maine said.

Maine said Zuma would complete his term of office, come what may.

“He will finish his term in December and he is in office until 2019. The ANC got over 60% of the vote.”