The ANC must put SA in safe, capable hands - Mandela foundation

2016-11-01 16:16
Nelson Mandela Foundation logo. (Supplied)

Nelson Mandela Foundation logo. (Supplied)

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Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma has failed to protect the Constitution and the ANC now needs to ensure the country is placed in "safe and capable hands", the Nelson Mandela Foundation said in a statement on Tuesday. 

"The ability and commitment of the Head of State to be a 'constitutional being', is one of the wheels of our state. The unanimous judgment of the Constitutional Court of the Republic in the matter of President Zuma and the use of state resources on a private residence was one such test. It is increasingly a national consensus that he has failed the test," it said. 

The foundation was referring to a Constitutional Court finding against the president that he failed to uphold the Constitution when he failed to comply with the Public Protector's findings on the upgrades to his Nkandla homestead.

"We call on the governing party to take the steps necessary to ensure that the vehicle of state be protected and placed in safe and capable hands."

The foundation warned that Zuma's failure to uphold the Constitution will lead to other state institutions following suit.

"We have seen a weakening of critical institutions such as the South African Revenue Service,  the National Prosecuting Authority and law enforcement bodies due to political meddling for private interests," the statement reads.

Critics of the National Director of Public Prosecutions Sean Abrahams have argued that the NPA was being used to fight political battles when it charged Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, former Sars boss Oupa Magashula and former Sars deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay with fraud. 

On Monday NPA head Abrahams withdrew the charges, saying the institution had received documents showing there was no "criminal intent" by the trio.

Personalisation of issues

The foundation says it has been twenty years since former president Nelson Mandela signed the Constitution into law and the wheels of the vehicle of state are coming off.

It also lamented the personalisation of issues around individuals.

"We are reaping the results of a political trend of personalising matters of state around a single individual leader. This in a constitutional democracy is to be deplored," the foundation said. 

Touching on the country's education system, the foundation said schools in townships and rural areas had "deteriorated to unimaginable levels" and events at universities were comparable to the practices of the apartheid regime. 

"And now universities are being brought to their knees as they lurch from crisis to crisis while a semblance of normality is enforced under what are effectively states of emergency."

CEO Sello Hatang on Tuesday said the levels of discontent felt in the country could no longer go unnoticed.

"If the local government elections are anything to go by, then there is a problem of South Africans saying we need to listen to issues of governance and corruption and many other ills that we've identified," he told News24.

"We believe that the crippling has to stop. Levels of competence need to be demonstrated, even by the NPA."

He also said issues such as ongoing student protests could also be addressed if a broad range of stakeholders from all sectors, not just education, contributed.

Read more on:    npa  |  anc  |  sars  |  nelson mandela foundation  |  politics

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