Ahmed Kathrada would have been saddened it took so long for Zuma to resign - foundation

2018-02-15 07:06
Ahmed Kathrada (Mlungisi Louw, Netwerk24)

Ahmed Kathrada (Mlungisi Louw, Netwerk24)

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WATCH: EFF honour Kathrada 'death wish' on Robben Island

2017-08-30 13:51

Julius Malema and the EFF leadership visited Robben Island on Wednesday on the invitation of the Ahmed Kathrada and Nelson Mandela Foundations, in honour of Uncle Kathrada's dying wish. Watch the media briefing above. WATCH

Cape Town - South Africans deserve to know the full extent of the damage done to the country under the Jacob Zuma administration, the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation said on Wednesday.

"We hope that the various commissions and inquiries under way into state capture and state-owned entities can reveal such," executive director Neeshan Balton said in a statement.

"We furthermore hope that law enforcement agencies are committed to investigating and prosecuting those who have facilitated state capture. There must be serious consequences for the corrupt to serve as a deterrent to others. There must be justice."

Jacob Zuma's announcement of his resignation is one that "will be met with a sigh of relief from all South Africans", Balton added.

"For the first time in almost a decade, South Africans can rejoice that the sun has set on the Zuma era. Despite it having taken a long time for the voices of ordinary people to be heard, we can finally celebrate that the president, who had become a symbol of the erosion of state integrity, has left office."

'Going to take years of hard work'

Balton believed the resignation was due to the cumulative efforts of civil society formations, business, labour, the religious sector, opposition parties, members within the ANC, journalists, whistleblowers, honest public servants, the judiciary and ordinary people.

"We've removed someone who had presided over a systemic process of state capture that has crept into all tiers of government.

"Tomorrow, there will still be public officials stealing from state coffers; there will still be individuals who wield undue influence over politicians; there will still be groups willing to defend the state capture project; and there will still be an economy and society wrecked by poor governance.

"It is going to take years of hard work, from all sectors of society, to reverse state capture and build a state based on integrity, accountability, and transparency. The ANC leadership now has a duty to ensure that corruption is tackled and that any attempt to exonerate those behind its facilitation is quashed."

Kathrada – who died in 2017 - wrote an open letter to Zuma two years ago, asking him to resign.

Kathrada said he had "always maintained a position of not speaking out publicly about any differences I may harbour against my leaders and my organisation, the ANC", but had decided to "break with that tradition".

After Kathrada's death, Zuma abided by his family's wishes not to attend his funeral.

Kathrada was among a number of anti-apartheid struggle veterans who called for Zuma to step down.

Balton said he wished that Kathrada "could have been with us to know that his letter…had eventually struck a chord".

"I think that he would have been saddened that it had taken so long for Zuma to 'submit to the will of the people', but also proud of the work done by individuals across all sectors of society, putting pressure on the ANC to take the decision to recall him, leading to his resignation."

Read more on:    anc  |  jacob zuma  |  ahmed kathrada

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