Editorials 6.4.2016 09:00 am

Chance to right wrongs missed

President Jacob Zuma. (Photo by Gallo Images).

President Jacob Zuma. (Photo by Gallo Images).

Even churches that preach forgiveness have refused to pardon Zuma.

It was expected. ANC representatives in the National Assembly once again used their majority to shoot down the opposition’s bid to remove President Jacob Zuma from office.

These are the same MPs who, a few days ago, were hammered by the Constitutional Court for violating the constitution and their oath of office. They were found wanting by the court for failing to hold the executive to account in the matter related to the findings of Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, whose recommendations in the Nkandla matter were ignored by Zuma.

Those MPs who rallied behind Zuma, who the court found had failed to uphold, defend and respect the constitution, have missed an opportunity to regain credibility. The impact of their actions has taken its toll on citizens. The conduct of ruling party MPs and their continued support of Zuma has not only divided the ANC, these legislators, whose actions were found unlawful by the court, have also divided citizens of this country.

In an unprecedented move, SA’s largest military union, the South African National Defence Union, issued a statement this week saying Zuma and parliament could not continue to lead the country with “constitutional dirt on their hands”.

The seriousness of this should not be underestimated, considering Zuma, as head of state, is the commander-in-chief of the country’s armed forces. That Zuma does not enjoy the support of the majority of the country’s soldiers is a crisis of alarming proportions. Even churches that preach forgiveness have refused to pardon Zuma.

Yesterday, the South African Council of Churches said it was “not prepared” to accept Zuma’s apology. Current events highlight the frightening reality that the country is facing its worst social and political disorder that will continue with ruinous ramifications unless leaders correct their costly mistakes immediately.

Parliament had this chance yesterday. Sadly, it was yet another opportunity missed. In the meantime, the country bleeds.

 

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