Broad-based movement formed to remove Zuma from office
A coalition of civil society organisations‚ political parties‚ trade unions and religious groupings have announced the formation of a broad-based movement designed to remove President Jacob Zuma from office.
The coalition‚ known as the Freedom Movement‚ also said it aimed to restore power to the people of South Africa
The main event the coalition plans to have is a gathering at Freedom Park in Pretoria on April 27.
It wants to protest against what it referred to as a crisis of a political leadership that had allowed the state to be hijacked by corrupt interests at the expense of the needs and aspirations of the poor.
The coalition said the political mismanagement of the country had now reached a boiling point as it threatened to collapse the economy. It said the country’s sovereign debt rating was now reduced to “junk” status.
“This means that the cost of living for ordinary South Africans will become more unbearable. Many workers will lose their jobs.
“The unemployed will have no hope of finding employment. Food and transport will be more expensive. It will be harder for families with bonds to repay bank loans‚” the coalition said in a statement read out by political analyst Prince Mashele.
The coalition said while millions languished in poverty‚ Zuma and his business associates were engineering changes in government to enrich a small circle of politically connected friends.
It said the removal of former finance minister Pravin Gordhan in a Cabinet reshuffle last month was the culmination of a plot by Zuma and his associates to capture the state and loot resources from the National Treasury.
Mashele said the immediate objective of this grouping was to help facilitate a large-scale protest outside Parliament‚ when the Motion of No Confidence is debated.
Federation of Unions of SA general secretary Dennis George‚ Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane and United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa were among those who addressed the media briefing held in Soweto on Thursday.
Holomisa said apart from marches by different opposition political parties in the past weeks‚ calling for Zuma to be removed‚ his party supported any initiative aimed to rectify problems in the country.
Questioned about whether the continuous marches could lead to protest fatigue‚ Mashele said when citizens got tired‚ rogue leaders did not get tired.
“If we get tired‚ Jacob Zuma will destroy this country. We must protect it with all our strength‚” Mashele said.