Show leadership and respond to Nkandla report, Maimane tells Zuma

2014-07-23 18:06

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DA Parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane has dared President Jacob Zuma to show leadership or step aside.

In a speech marked by loud howls and heckling from ANC benches, Maimane advised Zuma to take the lead on critical issues facing the country such as labour unrest, the crisis at the SABC, unemployment and to encourage respect for institutions of state such as the Public Protector and the National Prosecuting Authority.

Maimane said Zuma also had to show leadership by responding comprehensively to the Public Protector’s report on the R246 million upgrades to his Nkandla estate.

“Set the example against corruption, Mr President. South Africans need to know that no one is above the law and most of all not you, Mr President. And that means urgently providing South Africa with your response to the damning allegations against you in the Nkandla report of the Public Protector,” he said.

Zuma has already missed a deadline to submit his response to the speaker of the National Assembly, as to how he plans to act on the Public Protector’s recommendations.

Maimane said the president also had to show leadership on the crisis at the SABC by intervening directly and firing controversial chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

“We cannot allow the public broadcaster to be overthrown by the agenda of telling a good story, when the story is so very far from good.

“Lead, Mr President, act and fire Hlaudi Motsoeneng or risk [us] losing all faith in the SABC, or step aside ...” he said.

Meanwhile, Zuma announced that he was setting up a Presidential Working Group on communication, which would engage with the both commercial and community media.

The president has had a frosty relationship with the media and has complained on numerous occasions about being the target of bad press.

Zuma also used the occasion to call for an end to Israeli attacks on Gaza.

“Like all peace-loving people the world over, we are shocked and dismayed by the violence and tragic loss of life in Gaza. We call on the Israeli government to stop its ground and air offensive, which continues to cause loss of life and a devastating humanitarian crisis. We also call for an end to the firing of rockets on Israeli citizens by Hamas,” he said.

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