Zuma must face the law, Pityana says ahead of event to challenge state capture
The first steps in building a new "broad front" against state capture will be taken at a Conference on the Future of SA, to take place at the Rhema Church on Tuesday.
The conference will be hosted by the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation and SaveSA, and is set to include about 400 delegates from about 100 civil society organisations.
It will also include ANC veterans, and MPs from various political parties, including the ANC.
Conference convener Mandla Nkomfe said the South African Communist Party — which decided at its national conference last week to contest elections on its own but has also said it will remain in the alliance — is also part of the process.
The conference marks an attempt to "recapture the state", Kathrada Foundation director Neeshan Bolton told journalists at a media briefing on Monday.
This comes in the wake of the Gupta e-mail scandal and as law enforcement agencies appear paralysed to act on the revelations of the extent of the family’s influence over President Jacob Zuma’s administration.
It also comes ahead of a scheduled motion of no confidence in Zuma, to be held on August 8. National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete has yet to decide whether the vote will be an open or secret ballot.
Save SA’s Sipho Pityana said it was regrettable that MPs were forced to choose between a leader and the people of the country.
He said some MPs faced threats as they were perceived as hostile towards the president.
Outspoken ANC MP Makhosi Khoza, who has said she will vote with her conscience come August 8, is set to address the conference on Tuesday.
The MPs attending the gathering may provide a glimpse into how they will vote in the upcoming motion.
The conference will also be used to show MPs that they should "do the right thing" and vote against Zuma on August 8.
"We believe the Conference for the Future of SA is an initiative that all South Africans should take seriously — a landmark in our nation’s strong history of civic activism, the struggle against wrongdoing, and the quest for a more equal, more just and more honest society than the one we live in now," a media statement said..
"The glue that has brought these organisations together is state capture, and a growing sense of repulsion at how the architects of state capture are stealing public money, handing over power and authority to interests outside the state, and undermining crucial state institutions such as the NPA, the Hawks, the police, and a growing list of state-owned companies."
Pityana said on Monday that Zuma should face the full might of the law, in response to questions about a possible amnesty deal for the president which was reported on over the weekend.
"I doubt our Constitution and legal framework would permit that…. It will create impression of putting an individual above the law … it sets a bad precedent if the president doesn’t face the law," he said.
Organisers also said they did not have a particular preference when asked whether they would be backing any candidates in the ANC’s succession race.
Bolton said the future party leadership should include men and women of integrity.