Civil society organisations outline plot to have Zuma sacked

Calls have gone out to members of society today, to join this campaign for the removal of President Zuma.

Civil society leaders gathered at Con Court to launch a campaign for President Jacob Zuma’s removal. Picture: Dineo Bendile/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Civil society organisations have gathered outside the Constitutional Court to outline a plan for the removal of President Jacob Zuma following the court's findings that he flouted the Constitution.

Bodies such as Section 27, Corruption Watch and various religious groups joined the campaign, which is intended to save South Africa from what civil society leaders say is a 'crisis'.

Former political leaders, members of the judiciary and religious leaders are among those gathered at the Constitutional court to launch a movement calling for the president to step down.

They say they have been spurred on by the Democratic Alliance's unsuccessful attempt to have the president impeached in Parliament.

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Calls have gone out to members of society today, to join this campaign for the removal of President Zuma.

Former Congress of South African Trade Unions General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi is one of those present at the Constitutional Court to support calls for active public engagement.

Civil society groups involved in the campaign say it will include nationwide dialogues and other forms of social mobilisation.

Last week, the highest court in the land found the president failed to uphold and protect the Constitution when he ignored the remedial action in the Public Protector's Nkandla report.

Those gathered at the court say political parties have failed and have called on ordinary South Africans to effect change.

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Civil society leaders say public consultations will be the first step towards implementing a campaign for the removal of President Zuma.

The initiative has been coordinated by the Unite Against Corruption Movement and wants to take over from the failed attempts of political parties to have Zuma impeached.

While no concrete plan of action has been laid down yet, several dialogues will be held to plot the way forward.

Vavi says South Africa is going through a difficult time and needs everyone on board.

"South Africa is going through its darkest hour, and unfortunately the captains of the ship have lost their compass and are all blindfolded."

Meanwhile, former Constitutional Court Judge Zak Yacoob has challenged members of the African National Congress (ANC) to do what is ethically correct by removing President Zuma from office.

Yacoob says he is disappointed by party members who understand the law, yet choose to misinterpret the Constitutional court's judgment on the Nkandla debacle.

The former Justice says when he voted against a proposal to limit the powers of the president in the Constitution, he never imagined his decision would one day be misused by a dishonest leader.

He's appealed to ANC leaders to use their conscience in decision making.

"I would like them all not to look at legalities; 'look at your consciences, my ex-comrades. Look at your consciences very carefully, because in those days we spoke out against the government strongly despite fear of reprisal."

On Saturday, 16 April a national dialogue will be held at the Regina Mundi Church in Soweto.

Community organisations in other parts of the country have also been called on to hold similar engagements on the same day.