Civil groups unite behind calls for Zuma to resign

An alliance has been formed comprising NGOs, churches, trade unions & academic organisations.

FILE: The Zuma Must Fall protest in the Company Gardens in Cape Town on 16 December 2015. Picture: Aletta Harrison/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Civil society organisations are this afternoon expected to announce details of a new campaign to put pressure on President Jacob Zuma to resign.

An alliance has been formed comprising NGOs, churches, trade unions and academic organisations.

This follows yesterday's failed attempt by opposition parties to have Zuma removed from office through an impeachment process in Parliament.

Among the organisations that have united are well known groups Corruption Watch and the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC).

Standing under one banner, the groups say now that the impeachment of Zuma has failed, the country risks 'lurching from crisis to crisis'.

The organisation criticises the National Assembly for what it calls 'not understanding the Constitutional Court pronouncement on separation of powers'.

It says South Africans are feeling the pain and that anger and urgency is growing.

The groups say it's now up to ordinary South Africans to 'reclaim a hard-won democracy'.

At the same time, opposition party leaders say they will seek other ways to have Zuma 'disciplined' for his handling of the Nkandla saga.

This could include approaching the Constitutional Court for guidance on how parliamentarians can take action against the president if the African National Congress (ANC) uses its majority to shield him.

The Democratic Alliance (DA)'s motion to impeach Zuma was defeated by the ANC's superior numbers in the National Assembly yesterday.

A total of 143 Members of Parliament (MPs) voted in favour of the motion, while 233 voted against the president's removal from office for failing to uphold, defend and respect the Constitution.

WATCH: Chaos as Zuma impeachment debate begins

DA leader Mmusi Maimane says opposition party leaders will write to National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete, asking that Zuma be subjected to a disciplinary process.

"He's gone here in Parliament and lied to the people of South Africa."

Congress of the People (Cope) leader Mosiuoa Lekota says there's also the possibility of approaching the Constitutional Court for direction.

"Either by declaring that there's a lacuna in the Constitution, or by providing an interpretation of Section 89."

WATCH: President Zuma: I respect the ConCourt's Nkandla judgment