Civil society will unite to fight state capture on Mandela Day

(Paul Herman, News24)
(Paul Herman, News24)

Johannesburg – Civil society will on Tuesday present a united front when they meet to discuss how to collectively fight state capture.

The meeting, which is called the Conference for the Future of South Africa, will see more than 400 delegates from business, legal, religious and the labour fraternity come together.

ANC stalwarts, Prasa's Popo Molefe and MP Makhosi Khoza are also expected to attend.

In a joint press briefing on Monday morning, Save South Africa, together with the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation and OUTA, announced that the conference would take place at the Rhema Bible Church in Randburg.

Read: Civil groups tackle capture

The meeting takes place on the former president Nelson Mandela’s birthday.

He would have turned 99.

Save South Africa's Sipho Pityana said South Africans continue to be outraged at the lack of action taken by authorities when it comes to investigating and arresting people that are associated with state capture.

"This is indicative of a growing failure of the South African state and with it, the slow death of the national democratic project. The nation is resounding in its demand that President Jacob Zuma, who is the primary sponsor of the state capture project, must step down with immediate effect."

Pityana said there were a few individuals in the ANC who have succeeded in keeping Zuma in power.

"We are looking at immediately applying pressure on members of Parliament to vote Zuma out on 8 August."

Programme of action

He said the plan of action will be crafted during tomorrow's meeting.

"A vote against the motion of no confidence, that will be tabled on the 8th, will be a vote in support of state capture."

He said civil society will demand the immediate judicial commission into state capture, as recommended by the Public Protector.

The meeting will also discuss restoring trust in the judiciary and other organs of state.

"The constant assertions around judicial overreach are postures that should be read as dangers that indicate a potential threat to the independence of the judiciary.

"The State can't act for as long as it does not have a credible leader."

The meeting will also look at how Chapter Nine institutions can be protected.

"There is ample evidence to remove some of the boards and executives of state-owned entities and replace them with competent and reputable leaders that must be appointed through a proper and transparent process."

After deliberating on all the issues on Tuesday, a programme of action will be developed and implemented by participants, Pityana said.

"Our programme of action is being developed in the context of a country where the people are sick and tired of the looting and theft by Zuma and his cronies and are demanding that it be stopped immediately."

He said the will to stop state capture is growing by the day and was evident in the cracks in the alliance and the national executive committee (NEC).

"One of the first steps in stopping state capture is by replacing President Zuma."

'No room to hide'

He accused Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba of being one of the architects of state capture.

Pityana said he expected the conversation to be constructive and civil society would emerge stronger.

Constant attacks from Black First Land First leader, Andile Mngxitama and Jimmy Manyi did not concern him. 

If anyone tries to disrupt the meeting, they will be asked to leave.

Outa's Dominique Msibi said the organisation had penned a document called "No room to hide: A president caught in the act".

Msibi said the document explained "how Zuma and his cronies were enriching themselves at the expense of the country. How he protected himself of prosecution for the longest time, it reminds us how he lied to Parliament and how he ignores the plight of the poor…".

The document also outlines how state institutions are used as cash cows to enrich the few.

It has been sent to Parliament, the Hawks, the NPA and the Public Protector.

Ahmed Kathrada Foundation’s Neeshan Balton said the Nelson Mandela Foundation would be participating.  

"We agreed to convene the conference with two objectives: to consider an integrated national plan of action against state capture and to agree on a declaration of common purpose."

Balton said various organisations had put aside their differences and come together to fight state capture. He said the conversation would be operating under #OperationRecapture.

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