Despite aims to remove President Jacob Zuma from office, he is not going anywhere, according to the African National Congress (ANC). According to local South African reports, the country cannot afford Zuma anymore. The ANC responded to the article calling for the removal of Jacob Zuma, by saying that it is patronizing and filled with deliberate lies.
The editor of a local South African newspaper wrote an article on why South Africa must get rid of Zuma as president. The article referenced the 11 million South Africans who voted for the ANC, with Zuma serving another five-year term, as ignoring the will of the people.
The country needs a new leader – a leader with integrity, respect and accountability. Zuma has neither the ability nor the respect to move the country into a stable democracy. The previous week once again proved that Zuma has shifted the accountability of the Nkandla scandal, as he has never admitted that during the entire building operation of Nkandla, curiosity arose as to why an enormous homestead was being erected on his property. The 20-page report submitted to parliament by Zuma on the Nkandla saga shifted the blame to other government departments, who will inevitable take the fall for incompetence.
The government intervention in the collapse of the African Bank is another example of leadership failing the people of South Africa. The continuous appointment of people lacking credibility to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) who never lodge a prosecution against Zuma, reveals the grip he has over them. The crime escalation and rise in gang-related incidents causing the death of small children is shoved aside as another crime statistic. The dreadful shootout between police and miners more than two years ago at the Marikana platinum strike demonstrates that Zuma is lacking leadership skills.
The ANC could take action against Zuma and recall his position by forcing his removal based on accountability. The scandal that evolved around former president Thabo Mbeki was by political structures within the ANC youth league calling for his removal, yet today the ANC does not have a strong alliance to garner this action against Zuma. Although there are ANC members who would prefer Zuma to step down, there will be no singing and dancing in public as was the case with Mbeki.
The popularity of Zuma is at an all time low, and the honorable action would be for him to take early retirement. Zuma experienced health problems early this year and concerns raised by his family to come home should be considered.
The ANC could offer Zuma retirement from the presidency and grant him amnesty from prosecution on all former counts of corruption or misconduct. A way to remove Zuma from the political scene would make a comfortable proposition that does not entail the president to fear future litigation. Whatever means used to remove Zuma from office would raise the question of democracy and could lead to salvaging the future of South Africa.
South Africa needs a leader with integrity and accountability. South Africa needs a leader that can strategize and intervene when disasters happen within the country. South Africa is backsliding and not moving forward, and unemployment, corruption and lack of investment opportunities does not fare well for the Zuma administration, nor does the continuous stream of negativity. The affirmative action and broad-based economic policies are failing actual growth by isolating skilled and experienced workers. The pressing problem the country is facing requires real solutions and a president with integrity.
Many believe that South Africa has descended past the point of return toward honesty, ethics and trust. The masses voted for the ANC to stay in power and govern, and it will take the masses to realize their vote was a call for the ANC to destroy the freedom given 20 years ago. The masses will consider their future and that of their children and vote for changes when a president with integrity walks with them. However, Zuma is not going anywhere, and any aim to remove him from office will not succeed.
Opinion by Laura Oneale