Cope LogoWhen Mosiuoa Lekota and other leaders left the ANC in 2008,Lekota pointed out in an open letter to the ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe that the movement of Albert Luthuli, Oliver Tambo, Walter Sisulu and Nelson Mandela had lost direction. He pointed out that the ANC, under the leadership of Jacob Zuma, was in danger of losing its way. Seven years after his prophetic words, senior leaders of the ANC today, like fomer Deputy President Motlanthe and Rev Frank Chikane are echoing the very same sentiments.

President Zuma still does not get it. It is a little too much for him to understand the kind of distinction that President Nelson Mandela made between being a leader of a party and being the head of state. He loved his party intensely but as the President of South Africa, he repeatedly put the country first.

During his address to the Cosatu Congress in 1993, he told the delegates, “If the ANC does to you what the Apartheid government did to you, then you must do to the ANC what you did to the Apartheid government.”

President Zuma yet again begins his explanation by saying, “I love the ANC”. He then qualifies that statement by saying, “It does not mean I love my country less”. The simple fact is that the President of South Africa has to love his country a vast deal more.

Nelson Mandela gladly took on the ANC by donning a Treatment Action Campaign T-shirt that read ‘HIV positive’. He stood with the people of South Africa during his presidency and even after he retired. He remained a social activist all his life.

President Zuma is clearly in the wrong job. He needs to take over as Secretary General from Gwede Mantashe so that he can freely put the ANC first and have no explanation to make.

COPE has repeatedly pointed out that President Zuma is not upholding his oath of office and he is unequal to the task of leading a united and reconciled nation. His words, his inaction, his largesse to ANC cadres, his mishandling of Nkandla, his inept manipulation of the criminal justice system and his dismal failure in creating jobs, indicate what an abject failure he is as the fourth President of South Africa.

Worse still, President Zuma continues to show the country the middle finger because he is so well protected by the ANC.

Issued by Dennis Bloem, COPE spokesperson

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