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An Open Letter to the Delegates at Mangaung

10 December 2012, 11:47

Dear ANC National Conference Delegate

I write to you as a concerned citizen of our beautiful country. In just under one week’s time, you will be tasked with deciding who will be the President of this country for the five years following national elections in 2014. As one of the 4,500 members at the 53rd ANC National Conference, it will be up to you to decide the fate of the 51.7 million people of this country.

I implore you to consider your choice for ANC president very carefully. Please think. Think long and hard and answer this question for yourself: Is Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma fit to be the president of this country? Is it in the best interests of the South African people to appoint a man like Zuma to the highest office in the land? You have the responsibility of deciding and the consequences of your vote will be felt by us all for years to come.

For me, at least, the situation seems to be simple and the answers to the above questions are relatively straightforward. Zuma has accepted money from various third parties in exchange for political favours and protection. This is a fact. And this is corruption, plain and simple. One can read every article in every newspaper and on every website, every newly-published book, every previously-confidential forensic report. The details and extent of Zuma’s (and his associates’ corruption) will probably frighten, disgust and overwhelm. But at the most simple level, the undeniable fact is that Zuma is corrupt. Schabir Shaik, his “financial adviser” has been convicted by a court of law for corruption in his relationship with Zuma. And Zuma has only been able to avoid prosecution himself by a last minute political decision not to take legal action against him, a decision which is generally seen to have been unlawful and incorrect. This is not a political conspiracy or a witch-hunt, it is a fact. 

Our country has so much to offer and so much opportunity. Despite a tortured past and in the face of severe adversities, we have created a multi-cultural, open society committed to freedom and equality. We have  a world-class Constitution, we have held successful international sporting events, we operate a top-10 stock-exchange and have an excellent banking system. We have immense natural and cultural beauty and possess great mineral riches. While we have a great deal of work to do, especially in respect of employment and education, with the right leadership our nation has both the will and the capacity to repair our broken systems. Please do not let our achievements be negated by inadequate and inefficient leadership. Do not let our country’s potential be stunted by corrupt and debased leaders.

I beg you, in the name of the forefathers of your once-proud movement, Tambo, Sisulu and Mandela, do not re-elect Zuma as ANC president (and, by default, president of South Africa for the next 7 years). I ask you this in the name of the Mmupele children who died of starvation in the bush in the North West Province. I ask you this in the name of the students in Limpopo without their textbooks. I implore you, on behalf of every shack-dweller living penniless in our country and on behalf of the 4.2 million people who cannot find employment. I beseech you, in the name of the murdered miners in Marikana and all mine workers toiling our land for little reward. I beg you on behalf of myself and my family and all citizens who want to see this country flourish and progress - please, do not re-elect Zuma as ANC President.

Yours faithfully

Anonymous Citizen X

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