‘’‘There comes a time in the life of every nation when it must chose to submit or fight’. Today I appeal to our President to submit to the will of the people and resign.’‘
These were the closing lines of a letter written by a key anti-apartheid activist imploring President Jacob Zuma to resign as President of South Africa.
Ahmed Kathrada, close ally of Nelson Mandela who also served on the first National Executive Committee of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) has asked embattled President Jacob Zuma to resign his post following the numerous scandals that has dogged his government in the recent past.
Now that the court has found that the President failed to uphold, defend and respect the Constitution as the supreme law, how should I relate to my President?
Former political prisoner & anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Kathrada asks Pres Zuma to step down. Read letter here: https://t.co/eBA729RFYm— zenaida machado (@zenaidamz) April 2, 2016
In a letter to the President, Kathrada, popularly known as “Kathy”, a politician and former political prisoner and anti-apartheid activist ; said he was pained by scandals around the Nkandla renovation and the removal of the former Finance Minister Nene and the whole Gupta saga but he felt the ruling ANC had the capacity to deal with it internally.
He explained his reason of writing to seek the President’s resignation; ‘‘The unanimous ruling of the Constitutional Court on the Nkandla matter has placed me in an introspective mode and I had to ask myself some very serious and difficult questions.’‘
‘‘Now that the court has found that the President failed to uphold, defend and respect the Constitution as the supreme law, how should I relate to my President?’‘ he quizzed.
BREAKING: South Africa's Constitutional Court rules President Jacob Zuma “failed to uphold” the constitution https://t.co/vQePnMbXEl— The Associated Press (@AP) March 31, 2016
He bemoaned the fact that the Presidency which is supposed to unite this country behind a vision and programme in order to better the lot of the ordinary South African had been reduced to ridicule with the President being labelled as a ‘‘thief and a ‘‘rapist,’‘ under Zuma.
He is of the view that it is in the interest of Zuma himself to step down in order to safeguard the rôle that he played in the struggle that brought about democracy into South Africa.
‘‘Comrade President, are you aware that your outstanding contribution to the liberation struggle stands to be severely tarnished if the remainder of your term as President continues to be dogged by crises and a growing public loss of confidence in the ANC and government as a whole,’‘ he wrote.
The ANC through it’s General Secretary has backed Zuma saying he did the right thing by accepting the ruling of the Constitutional Court, accepting to pay back public funds used to renovate his private residence and also apologizing to South Africans.