JOINT STATEMENT BY POLITICAL PARTIES AND CIVIL SOCIETY
March to the Constitutional Court: #SecretBallot
(Issued on 12 May 2017 at the Parktonian Hotel in Braamfontein, Johannesburg)
It is clear to all patriotic citizens that our country, South Africa, is experiencing the worst crisis of leadership since 1994.
Our nation has reached a point where the conscience of every Member of Parliament (MP) matters in deciding whether a rogue President is removed from office or not.
Next week Monday, the 15th of May 2017, the Constitutional Court will hear arguments by lawyers representing the United Democratic Movement and others arguing why a President who was elected by Parliament through a secret ballot must be removed by a secrete ballot.
We the leaders of political parties (the African Christian Democratic Party, African Independent Congress, African People’s Convention, Congress of the People, Agang SA, Democratic Alliance, Economic Freedom Fighters, Inkatha Freedom Party and the United Democratic Movement), together with the Freedom Movement and SaveSA, are united behind the call for MPs to be allowed to decide, by secret ballot, whether President Jacob Zuma must vacate office or not.
We believe that a secrete vote will provide the safest space for every individual MP to be guided by his or her free conscience, not by the dictates of political bosses who issue instructions to Parliament from party headquarters. When a country is burning, it is time for conscience to speak!
The heavy-handed threat of punitive action by the governing party against its representatives in Parliament who may choose to uphold their oath of office is a grievous threat to our democracy. The Constitution is the only instrument our people can and must use to neutralise this threat.
We believe that the matter that will be argued at the Constitutional Court next Monday goes to the heart of the Constitution. This is why we will together lead a march to demonstrate our resolve to defend our country. We call upon all citizens who share our call for President Zuma to be voted out of office to join our march. The details are as follows:
Date: 15 March 2017
Meeting point: Marry Fitzgerald Square (Johannesburg)
Marching to: Constitutional Court
The Constitutional Court is the last line of defence for citizens when betrayed by those who wield political power. We believe that President Zuma’s continued stay in office poses a major threat to constitutionalism in South Africa. It threatens to weaken our economy, to impoverish millions of our people, and further to corrupt and ultimately collapse our state. This negative trend can and must be reversed!
History will judge us harshly if we do not stand up to defend our country in its hour of need. South Africans must unite in the interest of their country. We call upon all citizens from all walks of life to join us in our historic march.
I thank you!
(Presented by Mr Bantu Holomisa, MP, on behalf of the organisations listed above)