Zuma and cohorts have acted as if they own Treasury, says Makgoba.
With a judicial commission of inquiry into President Jacob Zuma’s role in state capture only weeks away pending the not unlikely failure of his appeal, Anglican Church Archbishop Thabo Makgoba piled on the pressure when he called for ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa to recall Zuma at a Christmas Eve midnight mass in St George’s Cathedral, Cape Town.
“If Mr Ramaphosa wants the ANC to get a new lease of life, he and the new leadership will need to cut the umbilical cord which ties them to the Zuma era quickly and decisively,” said Makgoba.
“Our economy is floundering, unemployment is rising and those cohorts of corruption who see they are losing influence are making desperate attempts to loot what they can before their party is over. “The divisions in the ANC have led to a paralysis in decision making and the implementation of policy. It is time to say, ‘enough is enough’.”
University of South Africa Professor and political analyst Somadoda Fikeni said yesterday Makgoba was a prominent figure and his voice was authoritative.
“I think it’s just adding to the pressure because he is quite a prominent figure and has been involved in efforts to hold the president accountable,” said Fikeni.
Makgoba said he could not see how “two centres of power – one focused on the party and the other on the state – can collaborate when their values seem diametrically opposed to one another.”
The archbishop noted the new ANC NEC had to act “boldly and quickly” to replace Zuma and carefully reshuffle Cabinet.
“If they don’t, we can see their fate written in the histories of other liberation movements who have failed to adapt: they will lose power. “After our liberation, too many of us folded our arms and waited for the government to fulfil our dreams. We didn’t take lessons from other democracies; we didn’t realise that good governments are there to create the environment in which we are guaranteed equality of opportunity, guaranteed the space in which we can get our hands dirty, do things for ourselves,” Makgoba said, calling for a revolution in thinking.
“Whether he acknowledges it or not, he knows and we know that means he has to act in the matter of President Zuma,” the archbishop said, referring to Ramaphosa.
“He knows and we know that President Zuma and his cohorts of corruption have been behaving as if they own the South African Treasury. But they don’t: the resources of the Treasury are the common property of all South Africans, to be deployed for the common good, not for the interests of a few,” Makgoba said.
“Shame on Zuma for allowing people with dirty feet to walk through his mind and heart. And shame on his fellow leaders in the ANC for allowing him to get away with it.”