The United Democratic Movement (UDM) welcomes the decision to recall Mr Jacob Zuma as the President of the Republic of South Africa (SA). It has taken far too long for this to happen, once it became patently clear (years ago) that he was not fit to hold the highest office in the Country.
We can rightly say that the African National Congress (ANC) only reached this decision because of the continued, consistent pressure exerted by opposition parties; civil society; and the media, who played a critical role in exposing institutionalised corruption such as #GuptaLeaks. It is encouraging that those who campaigned for Mr Zuma to vacate his office, had free access to media and radio talk shows. This demonstrates that the tools of democracy and a free society, as provided by our Constitution, work.
The ANC’s much vaunted self-correcting nature is a damp squib. South Africans, especially eligible voters, have realised that the ANC has lost its moral high-ground and had relinquished its status as South Africa’s liberation movement.
If it wants to be taken seriously, the ANC – which have been protecting Mr Zuma, at all cost – must own up to this mess and immediately charge Mr Zuma and his fellow gangsters. In the end him and his colleagues your deployees!
Regarding the future, the UDM is positive, but recognise that it will take the nation years to recover from the damage caused by the tangible effects of Mr Zuma’s administration on the lives of our people on a daily basis. It will also take time to convince the international community, the ratings agencies, and investors that South Africa no longer has a weak and corrupt government that easily succumbs to the influence of pirates and privateers.
However, only half the battle has been won at this time. All patriotic South Africans, opposition parties, civil society, and the media should not now rest and lower their guards. We must ensure that the culprits face the full might of the law and that the billions of stolen Rands be returned to the last cent!
South Africa has learnt several harsh, but valuable lessons in this experience. One thing that should be done to curb corruption in Government – perpetrated by political deployees and officials alike – should be the appointment of specialist investigating units, with forensic auditing capacity, as well as dedicated courts to expedite the prosecution of offenders.
We hope that Mr Zuma’s departure from office also signals a departure from this almost cult-like hero-worshiping of certain individuals just because they have “struggle credentials”. Struggle credentials do not maketh the man!
There is no place in our history for people who have tarnished the legacy of our freedom fighters; we must draw a line in the sand and start from scratch to create a corruption-free government that works in the service of the people.
Mr Bantu Holomisa, MP and UDM President