Zuma betraying ANC legacy - Ramphele
LEADING academic and former Black Consciousness Movement activist Dr Mamphela Ramphele has delivered a scathing attack on President Jacob Zuma, accusing him of betraying the legacy of the ANC.
Coming out with guns blazing at the Daily Dispatch Dialogues in East London on Tuesday, Ramphele also lambasted the ANC leadership, accusing them of launching an onslaught on the Constitution.
Saying the supremacy of the Constitution was under threat, Ramphele urged South Africans to refrain from being "passive subjects" and become active citizens in defence of their Constitution.
"There is enough concern about the utterances by ANC leaders and government officials to suggest that not all is well in our constitutional democracy.
"There is a clash of values between those who believe in the sanctity of our constitutional democratic foundations and those who see them as an obstacle to the second transition," Ramphele, a former University of Cape Town vice-chancellor, told a packed GuildTheatre.
She said to place the current onslaught on the Constitution in its historic context, one needed to remember that as a result of its experience of the abuse of power by the then minority parliamentary state, the ANC, in its Harare Declaration of 1989, insisted on a Bill of Rights as a cornerstone for negotiations.
When Nelson Mandela inaugurated the Constitutional Court in 1995, he described it as a court on which hinges the future of our democracy, she said.
"Our current president (Jacob Zuma) is betraying the legacy of his own party, the ANC, and unfortunately he is not alone in this betrayal," Ramphele said.
She said the silence of his cabinet colleagues suggested they supported him.
She cited the introduction of the Traditional Courts Bill as one of the "dark clouds gathering in the horizon" in the onslaught on the Constitution.
She said the bill would create a separate and authoritarian legal regime for the areas of South Africa where poverty was most concentrated, effectively stripping people living in those areas of their citizenship rights, returning them to the status of "tribalsubjects".
"This bill is not some aberration that appeared from nowhere, it was approved by the ANC cabinet and the state lawadvisers and was strongly defended by the Department of Justice in Parliament in 2008.
"This will be like taking people back to the 'bantustan' rule, it will be more like goodbye apartheid and again hello apartheid.
"Millions of South Africans fought long and hard for the end of 'bantustans' and equal citizenship for all, but that victory is betrayed by these new laws.
"The passing of this bill into law will be the ultimate betrayal of the values and principles of our constitutional democracy and a betrayal of the struggle for freedom," she said.
Ramphele advised South Africans to become active citizens as no democracy in the world would survive without active citizens.
"We must always remember that we own the state of South Africa as the people, that we are major shareholders in this South African Inc and that the government is just managing it on our behalf," Ramphele said.