Natasha Marrian Political editor: Business Day
Mobilising: A large crowd listens to SaveSA leader Sipho Pityana outside Port Elizabeth’s city hall earlier this year. SaveSA will co-host the Conference for the Future of SA to create a front against state capture. Picture: BRIAN WITBOOI/THE HERALD
Mobilising: A large crowd listens to SaveSA leader Sipho Pityana outside Port Elizabeth’s city hall earlier this year. SaveSA will co-host the Conference for the Future of SA to create a front against state capture. Picture: BRIAN WITBOOI/THE HERALD

The motion of no confidence against President Jacob Zuma on August 8 will be a key focus for civil society members who are participating in a conference on Tuesday to create a "broad front" against state capture.

Convener of the Conference for the Future of SA and deputy director of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation Mandla Nkomfe said on Monday, the conference would call on MPs across party lines to take a firm stand.

Co-hosts SaveSA said people were "sick and tired of the looting by Zuma and his cronies".

Its leader, Sipho Pityana, said one of the first steps to combat state capture would be to remove Zuma.

The conference will be held at the Rhema Church in Randburg and is set to unite forces who have been fighting against state capture — including churches, academics, public servants and civil society members who are all fighting against what was described as a "silent coup" by the controversial Gupta family and their allies at the highest government levels.

Outspoken ANC MP Makhosi Khoza, who has indicated that she will vote with her conscience in August’s motion, is to take part in a panel discussion at the conference.

The gathering comes as the state prosecuting apparatus appears to be unable to act against political and nonstate actors amid mounting evidence of alleged corruption by the family and its associates.

Various formations have been acting against state capture on their own. The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse laid treason charges against former communications minister Faith Muthambi on Monday after the Gupta e-mail leaks revealed she had shared sensitive cabinet information with members of the family.

Meanwhile, the South African Council of Churches and academics released reports on state capture and initiated their own campaigns against it. Nkomfe said at a media briefing the conference was aimed at ensuring "maximum unity" in civil society acting against state capture. He said the conference as a landmark in SA’s long history of activism to ensure social justice and accountability.

While the gathering will comprise mainly civil society organisations, members of political parties have been invited, mostly in their capacity as MPs. An action plan will be drawn up for the day the motion against Zuma will take place.

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