ANC must think twice about electing 'Zuma lookalike' - Pityana

2017-02-02 21:06
AngloGold Ashanti chairperson Sipho Pityana. (News24)

AngloGold Ashanti chairperson Sipho Pityana. (News24)

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Cape Town - Save SA convener Sipho Pityana says the African National Congress needs to think long and hard about the possibility of electing another version of President Jacob Zuma as the party's next president in December.

Pityana told guests at the Cape Town Press Club on Thursday that the Save SA campaign did not want to engage on the party's succession race debate, but said that electing Jacob Zuma for two terms was a mistake.

"We think it's early days yet. There are a number of other people who are likely to be candidates," he said.

"But we do invite ANC members to realise that the mistake we made in [electing] a Jacob Zuma, twice, was a great disservice to this nation.

"To repeat it again, with someone who is a Zuma lookalike or Zuma acolyte would be to condemn this nation."

Electoral system 'outdated'

Pityana also said the country should look at the way it elected its leaders and the negative impact of political parties, rather than the electorate, having the final say over specific individuals holding office.

"The processes we have today of electing political leaders shuts out ordinary South Africans who get affected by those decisions.

"The mode of selecting political leaders is outdated, it is not transparent, and not consistent with democratic engagement.

"The [number of] people who support political parties [is] much larger than the members of those parties."

He said the country would benefit from opening up the debate around leadership, and that it shouldn't be conducted behind closed doors.

Former MP Vytjie Mentor was also present at the event. Mentor was thrust into the public eye almost a year ago after calling out the Gupta family for allegedly trying to offer her a Cabinet position.

During a round of questioning, she spoke about the ways in which she thought the country should move forward to avoid the mistakes of the current administration.

"I think it [2017] is going to be the most difficult time," Mentor said.

"The corrupt people are not only Zuma. The corruption is deeply entrenched. It is a very wide network, across the whole infrastructure of government, of anything you can think of that is South African."

She called on business to actively participate in saving South Africa, and said it was time for the private sector to put the public good over business interests.

Alternative state of the nation

She also said the country needed a new electoral system.

Pityana agreed with Mentor on the whole, but said he understood why business would be reluctant to stand against the government, as many departments were either industry regulators or customers.

Save SA will be hosting an alternative state of the nation address on Wednesday at St George's Cathedral in Cape Town.

Pityana said all South Africans were invited to air their grievances on the "real" state of the nation and that Zuma's State of the Nation Address would be another practice in empty rhetoric.

Read more on:    anc  |  save sa  |  sipho pityana  |  politics 2017

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