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Congress of the People is shocked that President Zuma should conjure up a paragraph that does not exist in the Public Protector’s report in order to act at variance with its recommendations. This is shocking. President Zuma has become both reckless and desperate in his attempt to dodge paying back some of the money for the upgrades at Nkandla.

The Public Protector “foreshadowed” nothing as the President is asserting. She has stuck to the bland facts. Furthermore, the President is thoroughly wrong in accusing the Public Protector of making a criticism that is unfair and unwarranted. President Zuma must know that this lady is not for turning.

If President Zuma insists that he appointed Nhleko on Madonsela’s recommendations, he must show in the final report where such a recommendation exists. The burden of the proof lies entirely with him.

President Zuma now faces the real prospects of the country branding him a liar and a fabricator. Our nation is getting lies, lies and damned lies and a whole fabrication from the ruling party that insults our intelligence. There is not a jot of integrity in any of the MPs and Ministers involved in the Nkandla saga, the grandest charade this country has ever had the misfortune to witness.

The country has suffered a great deal under President Zuma. Furthermore, under President Zuma the economy is job shedding, Eskom is load shedding, and government is shedding rule of law. Every day that President Zuma remains in office will result in one more nail in the coffin.

He has plenty of time to fight the Public Protector but no time to take the fight to the crooks and the criminals who are alarmingly destroying the country.

The country can choose to wait, do nothing and sink further into disaster and turmoil or the people can stand up and make the Nkandla saga and its owner go away from the national political scene for good.

In 2012, former President Mbeki broke his studious silence on South African politics to warn that under President Zuma our country was in “a dangerous and unacceptable situation of directionless and unguided national drift”.

He also said that the Nkandla story, “in all its elements is very worrying. It is very worrying about our future, about the manner in which our society is being managed and very worrying about the quality of leadership that is required, given all of the challenges that we face.” We should heed his words or suffer the consequences of our neglect in that regard.

There is indeed no quality of leadership. If anything, the leadership is pathetic. The craven mind set of ruling party MPs is disgusting to behold.

COPE warns that we are indeed heading into a constitutional storm and facing an economic tsunami because of the lack lustre and morally compromised leadership. If anyone had expected a morally flawed leader such as President Zuma to lead us to Nirvana, the reality must rapidly abuse us all of that false notion. The cracks are everywhere and the burden of the failures of this government is entirely for society to bear.

COPE stands with the Public Protector who will not blink whatever is hurled at her because she has professional integrity, moral fortitude and the courage of her convictions. The time has come for good men and good women to stand with the Public Protector so that the centre can hold and chaos is averted.

COPE stands resolutely with the Public Protector. Let us all do the same and campaign for her just and noble cause to win the day.

Issued by Dennis Bloem on behalf of COPE

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