Manuel tells Zuma to be honourable ... and quit

Johannesburg - Former Finance Minister Trevor Manuel joined AngloGold Ashanti chairperson Sipho Pityana and other veteran members of the ruling African National Congress in a call for President Jacob Zuma to step down, saying they have “deep concern” over the state of the country.

Save South Africa, whose members also include former Minister of Public Enterprise Barbara Hogan, said it requested an urgent meeting with Zuma on Thursday to discuss his capacity to provide “the leadership that is required to chart a way to stability, economic growth and the rights and promises contained in the Constitution,” the civil society group said in an e-mailed statement.

READ: Presidency hits back at ‘attack’ on Zuma by mining execs

Zuma, 74, has faced calls to quit since the nation’s top court ruled in March that he violated the constitution by refusing to repay taxpayer money spent on upgrading his private home.

He’s spooked investors by sparring with his Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan for control of the Treasury, tax collection agency and state companies.

He’s also fighting a lawsuit filed by opposition parties aimed at forcing prosecutors to reinstate 783 graft charges against him that were dropped just weeks before he became president in 2009.

READ: Business leaders must urge Zuma to go - Pityana

“We suggest, Mr President that you have put your personal interests ahead of the national interest, jeopardising the independence of key institutions and you have consequently lost the confidence of the people of South Africa,” Save South Africa said in its statement.

“The only honourable course of action open to you now is to resign.”

The group is planning a formal launch in coming weeks, it said.

READ: Pityana: Zuma's removal will boost the economy

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