‘Jacob Zuma needs to look deep within his conscience’

Activists from across the continent say President Zuma must resign in order to protect Africa’s integrity.

President Jacob Zuma during the debate on President Jacob Zuma's Annual Address to the National House of Traditional Leaders held at Tshwane Council Chambers in Pretoria on 7 April 2016. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - Activists from across the African continent say President Jacob Zuma must resign in order to protect Africa's integrity.

Thirteen activists wrote an open letter to Zuma yesterday saying he must not become the first president in democratic South Africa to allow his power to trump the people.

They've joined a growing chorus of people calling on the president to step down after last week's historic constitutional court ruling.

One of the activists, Suntosh Pillay, says Zuma has lost the moral authority to lead.

"The decision needs to be made by him. He needs to look deep within his conscience. Nelson Mandela did it when he realised he needed to step aside, Thabo Mbeki did it when he was recalled. Kgalema Motlanthe did it when he realised he was only a temporary president. We don't have a history in South Africa of people clinging onto power."

The Constitutional Court found the president did not uphold, defend and respect the constitution when he failed to comply with the public protector's report on the Nkandla spending fiasco.

In 2014, Thuli Madonsela directed him to pay back a portion of the money spent on upgrading his private home.