‘Hands Off Jacob Zuma’ campaign intensifies
As pressure mounts for President Jacob Zuma to vacate the Union Buildings in Pretoria‚ the South African Unemployed Workers Union and other organisations have instituted a "Hands Off Jacob Zuma" campaign in his defence.
Speaking on Steven Grootes' Afternoon Drive Show on Radio 702 on Thursday‚ SAUWU President Jabu Ntusi said Zuma should be left to run the country until his term of office ends in 2019.
"The campaign's message is simple: hands off Jacob Zuma. Jacob Zuma was elected by the people so we are saying ‘hands off’. When he was given a mandate by the people‚ he was told he would serve two terms [so] his term will end in 2019‚ non-negotiable‚" said Ntusi.
He said Zuma should remain the head of state not because he won the 2014 elections‚ but because that was the mandate given to him by the people.
"If the organisation wanted Zuma out‚ we wouldn’t be divided on the matter.. we don’t want our organisation to be tattered… these things of recallment… we do not except because they are tarnishing our organisation as well in terms of votes‚" said Ntusi.
"You leave comrade Jacob Zuma to lead until 2019 and after 2019 the next [successor] takes over. It's not in the interest of South Africa to get rid of President Jacob Zuma‚ it is in the interest of certain people who are collaborating with white monopoly capital… that's how we view it. All we are saying is that 'No‚ we can't approve this one this time around'‚" he added.
Ntusi‚ who will hold a media briefing in Marshalltown‚ Johannesburg‚ on Friday to discuss further details of their planned “Hands Off President Zuma” march and memorandum which will be delivered to the ANC among others‚ said the campaign had the support from the National Taxi Alliance‚ Qina Mshayeli‚ Ex-Mine Workers‚ Black First Land First (BLF) and the MK Inkululeko Foundation‚ to name a few.
He said they have applied to march to the ANC's headquarters on Monday‚ to formally hand over a memorandum to the party's secretary general‚ Ace Magashule.
"If the country is going to change‚ the new leader will have his term in office and he can do the changes. What we are saying [is that] there is no pressure‚ what are you rushing for?.. why do you want Zuma to be removed now before 2019?" asked Jabu.
The publication understands that the ANC's national working committee decided that Zuma‚ must leave office by next week.
Sources within the 20-member NWC who attended its meeting on Monday said members agreed that Zuma should not be allowed to deliver the State of the Nation Address on February 8.
Meanwhile in parliament‚ opposition parties have said it would be in the best interests of South Africa if he does not deliver it.
In terms of the constitution‚ Zuma cannot be impeached between now and February 8‚ but a vote of no confidence can take place before then.