Call to 'take back the country of our dreams' on Freedom Day

2016-04-07 16:39

Prominent civil society members gather at Constitution Hill, including Ronnie Kastrils, Cheryl Carolus and Zwelinzima Vavi. (Genevieve Quintal, News24)

Johannesburg  A group of civil society leaders has said the country needs to come together before South Africa “explodes”, calling on citizens to meet this Freedom Day to demand President Zuma's resignation.

The group held a public gathering at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg on Wednesday, and included former deputy ANC secretary general Cheryl Carolus, former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils, former Constitutional Court judge Zac Yacoob, Zwelinzima Vavi and Ronald Lamola, among others.

In an open letter written to South Africans, sent after the gathering, the group said it hoped to gather all citizens this month to "take back the country of our dreams".

"President Zuma has become a liability to our beloved country. He has become a President of Impunity. The rot spreads from the top down," the letter read.

"Without his removal as a first step we cannot start to reach and rebuild the country of our dreams.

"We have become a country in permanent political crisis. It is most likely that we will witness the reinstatement of charges or corruption against President Zuma; then 'junk status'; then rising inflation; rising petrol prices; rising food prices, rising hunger, rising despair.

"If we don’t come together as citizens to address this crisis, our country is going to explode."

The group cited 11 reasons why it believed Zuma’s reign was threatening the country.

Thes included the original Guptagate saga at Waterkloof Airforce base, the destabilising of state institutions such as the Hawks and the NPA, the changes in national key points, R29bn lost in corporate corruption, and the Marikana massacre.

"We demand that Jacob Zuma resign as president of South Africa without delay."

Calls to mobilise on Freedom Day

The group’s plan of action involved gathering as many South Africans as it can to meet at various places around the country on April 16, and then again on Freedom Day, April 27, to demand Zuma’s resignation.

"On Saturday, 16th April 2016, we call on people to hold organised discussions in villages, townships, churches, mosques, informal settlements, sports clubs and cultural associations about how we can secure the resignation of President Zuma," the letter continued.

"We call on you to discuss what is wrong with the country and, more importantly, what is needed to put it right."

In conjunction, the group said it would organise a national consultation at the Regina Mundi Church in Soweto to hear the voices of ordinary people and people’s organisations, and asked citizens to drop their plans and join them.

"Freedom Day April 27 is around the corner. We call on everyone to make this a day of action. This year we must use Freedom Day to reclaim a freedom that has been stolen by Zuma and all who are like him."

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  gupta family  |  johannesburg  |  nkandla upgrade

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