Mbeki must go now, says DA’s Zille

2008-05-13 00:00

Cape Town — “Mbeki must go, and go now.” This was the call yesterday from DA leader Helen Zille as she repeated the DA call for the National Assembly to be dissolved in order to trigger a national election.

In a statement, after the ANC announced that Mbeki will stay on as president despite strong calls from alliance partners to remove him from office, Zille said the DA will redouble its efforts to ensure that a DA motion calling for a poll is debated in Parliament.

Zille said that it is untenable for Mbeki to remain in office.

“The cumulative evidence of his failure to uphold basic tenets of our Constitution is now overwhelming,” she said.

Zille’s comments came in the wake of assurances from ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe that the alliance summit at the weekend had “not decided” on a motion that was put forward by the SACP and others to have Mbeki removed from his position.

SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande also dismissed discussions related to Mbeki’s possible dismissal, saying while the SACP raised the issue, the matter had not been decided.

Former Limpopo premier Ngoako Ramatlhodi reportedly urged the summit to deal with Mbeki, saying he had made too many mistakes, while ANC NEC member and businessman Tokyo Sexwale raised similar concerns.

But, Mantashe said the summit had decided to work towards a solution to SA’s problems, rather than to blame an individual.

Zille said Mbeki has interfered in key institutions that should be independent from the ruling party, such as the SABC and the NPA, for his own political purposes.

“He is ultimately responsible for the power crisis that threatens to bring our economy to its knees.

“He has consistently denied the gravity of national crises such as HIV/Aids and crime and he has allowed President Mugabe to repeatedly steal elections … .”

Zille said the DA does not believe that Mbeki should be replaced by the “equally flawed” Jacob Zuma. “Zuma and his allies have already shown their contempt for the Constitution and the rule of law.”

She said it should not be left to less than 4 000 delegates at Polokwane to decide who the next president should be.

“The people of South Africa should be given the opportunity to decide in an election,” she said.

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