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“CHILDREN of exiles” have thrown their weight behind calls for action against President Jacob Zuma

Jacob Zuma‘Young pioneers’ back calls for action against Jacob Zuma and the ANC

“CHILDREN of exiles” have thrown their weight behind calls for action against President Jacob Zuma, for embarrassing the ruling party and flouting the country’s supreme law.

This is contained in a letter signed by about 40 former members of “Masupatsela” or “young pioneers” — those who were born or raised in exile — sent to African National Congress (ANC) Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe on Wednesday.

They called for a special conference where new party elections would be held, arguing that Mr Zuma showed no remorse and had flouted the ANC’s disciplinary code.

“We are extremely unsettled by his disingenuous and contradictory assertion that he had always been willing to pay for the nonsecurity features at Nkandla,” reads their memorandum.

This move comes as pressure is intensifying for the ANC to take action against Mr Zuma for flouting the Constitution in relation to the Nkandla scandal.

The signatories include descendants of ANC stalwart Walter Sisulu: Vuyisile, Ayanda and Shaka Sisulu.

The group strongly states that Mr Zuma’s apology on Friday night was not sufficient and warns of the consequences for the liberation movement should nothing be done, including loss of moral standing in the eyes of the public.

“The press conference that was held by our President after the judgment was handed down was also deeply unsettling as he extended no apology for the abuse of public funds for his personal benefit.

They also criticised the party’s top structures for the manner in which they have defended Mr Zuma.

“We are particularly perturbed by the developments within our movement, which appear to demonstrate a conflation of loyalty to our revolutionary cause with loyalty to individuals — at the expense of the integrity and moral standing of our movement.

“The President acted illegally in failing to uphold, defend and respect the Constitution as the supreme law of the land and demonstrated scant regard for the remedial action taken against him by the public protector in terms of her constitutional powers.”

ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said on Thursday that while the party did not agree with their demands‚ it would engage with groups calling for President Jacob Zuma’s removal from office‚

His comment came a day after more ANC bigwigs and former luminaries of the tripartite alliance joined the growing chorus of people calling for Mr Zuma’s head.

Former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils‚ former ANC deputy secretary-general Cheryl Carolus‚ former head of the ANC Youth League Ronald Lamola and former Cosatu secretary-general Zwelinzima Vavi were among those who gathered on the steps of the Constitutional Court on Wednesday to announce a campaign to unseat Mr Zuma.

“In their call they say they will engage‚ and we say as the ANC‚ as part of our engagement of different stakeholders‚ we will also engage them in their call‚ but we don’t agree with that call‚” Mr Kodwa said.

The activists on Wednesday called on civil society to march on April 27‚ the public holiday that commemorates SA’s first free and fair election in 1994‚ to call for Mr Zuma to step down.

They met in reaction to the defeat by the ANC majority in the National Assembly on Tuesday of a motion of impeachment.

Mr Kodwa said that the ANC had on Monday resolved to go out and engage with branches of the party and other stakeholders‚ including civil society.

The Congress of the People on Wednesday said it “will participate fully in all the activities of the civil society movement that is beginning to take shape”.

“The magic moment of a tipping point had been reached. People have had more than enough of Jacob Zuma and his shenanigans‚” said the party’s Dennis Bloem.

“(On Wednesday)‚ an important threshold was crossed and the forces of good in our nation are swelling to achieve the good of the nation. Finally‚ thievery and looting in politics will get its comeuppance through the will of the people.”

The signatories are:

• Natalya Dinat

• Lindiwe Gadd

• Maxine Hlaba

• Rebecca Kambule

• Andrew Kasrils

• Segomotso Lecholo

• Patience Luxumo

• Thembani Mabandla

• Kedi Mahlatji

• Zandile Matchaba

• Charlotte McClain-Nhlapo

• Lesedi Moche

• Thandi Modise

• Fidel Modise

• Sam Mogaki

• Themba Ngalo Mogale

• Sechaba Mogale

• Mpho Molefe

• Nikita Montana

• Boitumelo Moroka

• Thembi Msibi

• Mandla Msimang

• Themba Msimang

• Sisonke Msimang

• Nonhlanhla Msimang

• Lawson Naidoo

• Nadine Nannan

• Thandiwe Njobe

• Ndlela Nkobi

• Milton Opiote

• Amina Pahad

• Lindiwe Sangweni-Siddo

• Gosekwang Serache

• Connie Setimo

• Vuyisile Sisulu

• Ayanda Sisulu

• Shaka Sisulu

• Vuyo Skweyiya

• Zukisa Tshabalala

• Pulane Tshabalala-Kingston

• Mangaliso Williams

• Zwelethu Shabangu

Business Day

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