A civil society and private business community campaign is taking shape to “Safe South Africa” from the economic, social and political unrest and instability that plagued the country continuously for the recent past, intensifying under the rule of President Jacob Zuma.
The campaign which is set to evolve in stages sets off with a call on members in the Cabinet of President Zuma to resign as to indicate their opposition to the moral decay in government institutions in South Africa under the leadership of the President. Which decay has caused large sections of poor South Africans not to trust the law and the institutions that are supposed to uphold it? Evident is the striking mining workers’ rejection of the Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995 and its provisions in which the ANC government itself has become complicit in entertaining the strikers outside the prescripts of the applicable law.
This comes in the wake of the highest court of law in South Africa, the Constitutional Court (CC) having found that President Jacob Zuma on advice of his Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development Jeff Radebe; appointed as head of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Advocate Menzi Simelane despite public and State knowledge that the Advocate is a dishonest person with a lack of integrity. The Bar, the advocates’ legal management structure is now in process to have Mr. Simelane removed from its role thus to debar him from practicing law for own account with such record.
This finding of the Constitutional Court follows endorsement of the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) that the former police commissioner, Mr. Jackie Selebi, who headed the South African Police, was a person of low moral fibre, convicting him on charges related to corruption and sentencing him to 15 years imprisonment.
South Africans have furthermore become accustomed to the ANC government ignoring and or not respecting the orders of the courts and especially the highest courts such as the SCA and CC.
A case in point is the order of the SCA that the NPA should deliver the written transcripts and or notes on which the former acting head of the NPA, Advocate Mokotedi Mpshe (now appointed acting judge under the ZUma administration), based his withdrawal of more than 300 criminal cases against Mr Jacob Zuma just before he became president of South Africa. Nine months later the NPA has not complied with the SCA order.
The ANC has furthermore made it clear on numerous occasions that it does not like what is happening in the SCA and CC and it used its majority vote in the Judicial Service (JSC) [which is the body mandated to forward names of judges for appointment to the president] to appoint against public outcry judges the ANC seemingly is convinced will protect it when it is found to flout the constitution and the law. On a number occasions the very same judges so appointed however buttered their bread on both sides and lead to a complaint about this behaviour in the JSC by ANC member Adv. Ngoako Ramathlodi (Deputy Minister of Correctional Services).
The lower court’s it is feared has already been stacked with persons of dubious character, such as is reported regularly in the media about the questionable coming and goings of Western Cape Judge President, Honourable Justice John Hlophe.
Another alarming feature of this project of compromising the judiciary is the holding out allegedly of a yellow carrot in secret meetings with individual judges that if they decide this way or that way in certain cases in which the ANC has an interest, their appointment to higher courts or positions through the JSC would be smooth sailing.
Selling one’s soul for position has become a daily feature of discourse in South Africa and seemingly not even the judges are spared this evil.
What however seemingly has irked a broad section of South Africans into action is the threat all the unrest and instability in South Africa is posing to the economy. With mass strikes in the gold and platinum mining sector; a contributor of billions to the South African Treasury, alarm bells are sounding day in and day out and South Africans find themselves once more where they were when international economic sanctions during apartheid threatened to cause civil war and or unsustainable unrest in South Africa.
The lacklustre engagement of the Zuma administration and its’ partners the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and Congress of South African Trade Union (COSATU) with the mining turmoil add to the worries of South Africans that South Africa has become a speeding train without a driver. Black and White South Africans are once more one in their concern that something needs to be done collectively indiscriminate of political affiliation; and getting rid of the Zuma administration seems to be one of the options.
South Africans are in this campaign obviously mature enough to understand that South Africa cannot at this stage be governed without the ANC who still commands the majority votes in the country of mainly apartheid marginalised Blacks; Blacks who have rightfully a deep-seated distrust of White leadership after more than 300 years of oppression. Ms Hellen Zille, the leader of the official position in parliament, the Democratic Alliance (DA) echoed this sentiment when she recently said in a speech the DA alone cannot at this stage (before 2019) take control of the government from the ANC although she is convinced the ANC is driving the country to ultimate disaster.
This campaign to bring moral pressure to bear on members of President Jacob Zuma’s cabinet to resign is thus just a strategy to get Minister’s like Trevor Manuel, Naledi Pandor and others who obviously still have some credibility in South Africa outside the ANC; to signal to ANC members that all is not well with the leadership of President Zuma and not necessarily with the ANC.
It is civil society and private business claiming their right to have a say in who governs the country ahead of Mangaung and beyond; a right they would have had if the electoral system of South Africa made provision for direct election of the president, members of parliament and municipal councils.
It is also an olive leaf, a suggestion of shared comradeship with those in the ANC who is opposed to the rampant corruption that is tearing the movement and the country apart. We support the ANC, the campaign says, BUT ONLY with an ANC which has leadership that is beyond reproach and which leadership can again assert its moral leadership of the masses (urgently needed especially in the mining sector unrest and service delivery protest) and safe the country from impending implosion.
NB: This article is a figment of the writers’ imagination.