South Africa’s opposition political formations are closing ranks and are set to vote in union for President Jacob Zuma’s impeachment this Tuesday. The opposition is finding itself in a biblical David and Goliath fight with the ruling ANC having enough MPs to give Zuma a lifeline.
The question is, will they have moral conscience to do the right thing and defend the constitution and not the person? By the end of Tuesday, it will be clear what stands supreme between President Zuma and the constitution of the country.
Former COSATU trade unionist, Zwelinzima Vavi, says South Africans and MPs with conscience should do the right thing and impeach Zuma who was found by the Constitutional Court to have violated his oath of office.
“The President failed to uphold‚ defend and respect the Constitution as the supreme law of the land,” said the Chief Justice, Mogoeng Mogoeng, handing down his judgement on Nkandla he said was unanimously agreed by all Constitutional Court judges.
This judgement suggests President Zuma is not qualified to occupy the office he does.
Speaking to CNBC Africa, former General Secretary of the Congress of South African Trade Unions, and Vice-Chairperson of the Millennium Labour Council – Zwelinzima Vavi said, South Africans should be mobilised again to defend the constitution, fight poverty, inequality and unemployment.
Other than Vavi, more and more leading ANC bigwigs are also making comments suggesting that Zuma’s time is up and that his continued stay would undermine the party’s fortunes in the forthcoming local government polls, among them is the struggle stalwart jailed with Mandela, Ahmed Kathrada and Max Sisulu, former speaker of the National Assembly.
“All those who want to defend the constitution of South Africa should come together regardless of their usual differences. The answer does not lie in parliament, so this will call for mass action and civil disobedience among others,” added Vavi.
He also said the ANC of Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo and Walter Sisulu was not the one being led by Jacob Zuma.
“The ANC of today is new and has set the bar so low that its own leaders randomly tell people that all have skeletons, as stated by Bathabile Dlamini of the Women’s League. It is being led by someone facing 783 charges,” says Vavi.
“They (ANC MPs) have no qualms in throwing weight behind someone who has violated his oath of office and someone who spent about 250 million rand in his private residency.”
Meanwhile, South Africa’s rand weakened ahead of the vote, and following a warning by the central bank on Monday night that the risk of a credit ratings downgrade had increased.
At 11:48am CAT the rand traded at 14.94 to the dollar.