South Africa’s democracy is under direct threat and if nothing is done about it the country will be a very short step away from dictatorship, African National Congress stalwart Mathews Phosa said on Saturday.
Renewing his call for President Jacob Zuma to step down, Phosa said the values enshrined in the Constitution had lately been obscenely disrespected and South Africa was now facing the most severe test of its young democracy.
Speaking at Freedom Day celebrations in Langa in Cape Town, he said while the day should have been one of celebration, there was little to celebrate “unless you’re part of those who have successfully captured a rotten cabal of so-called leaders and their families”.
“I am sure that there are celebrations in the Saxonwold shebeen, keenly awaiting the outcome of the nuclear deal. There are those economic rapists who are not satisfied at emptying the troughs at Eskom and want to feed further on the corrupt fat that the nuclear process will give to the unprincipled and the corrupt,” Phosa said.
“Where previously I had remained silent out of loyalty to my beloved ANC, I now have to acknowledge that this is not the ANC that I know and to which I, and thousands of others, have dedicated our lives. And so I must, and I will, continue to speak out. Silence is connivance.
“You see comrades, I have realised that the gains that were made immediately after democracy cannot by any stretch of the imagination be credited to the current leadership of the ANC. The flourishing of South Africa immediately post democracy happened under a leadership who have been systematically cast out and rejected by most of the current leadership. The majority of their voices have been excluded or silenced in pursuit not only of state capture, but also of the ANC capture in the relentless, despicable rush to ‘eat’ and to self and family enrichment.
“No-one will convince me that the current ANC leadership represents those ideals and aspirations for which so many fought and died. This is a new, unscrupulous breed of politicians who serve the self and not the people, and who seem to have lost all sense of decency and honour – let alone commitment to Ubuntu. The current ANC is but a mere shadow of its former glorious self,” Phosa said.
“Instead, under the current dispensation, the Bill of Rights and the other provisions of the Constitution are routinely trampled on, disregarded and disrespected – by no less than the president himself. Human freedoms, dignity, exclusivity and the rule of law in the current South Africa are a mockery. Only our courts, and particularly our supreme courts, Supreme Court of Appeals, and the Constitutional Court continue to offer a valiant defense of our embattled democracy and we the citizens cling desperately to that last avenue of redress.
“The ANC leadership, supported by a fake-news propagandist campaign, conceived, implemented and funded by the Gupta family, is hell-bent on dividing rather than unifying our country; on excluding rather than including; and of vilifying its own citizens in pursuit of an agenda that is completely self-serving and hugely destructive,” he said.
“In the last few weeks, in the face of massive public expressions of anger, disgust, and concern at the state of affairs in our country, what has been the response of the ruling party? They have responded by blaming everyone else, they blame white monopoly capital, racism, tribalism, other minorities, xenophobia, and subversive malcontents.
“These factors have all been trotted out in an attempt to deflect attention away from the harsh reality of a deeply divided ANC, the gross mismanagement of the public purse, and plunder of our country and a failed leadership. I find this deeply, deeply disturbing.
“I support whole-heartedly the countrywide mobilisation of the masses to protest the immoral and corrupt leadership ‘leading’ us. This junk state is not what we fought for. This is not what South Africans are about. Of one thing I am absolutely certain. We South Africans are not stupid. They know what to do, what choices to make when the crunch comes.
“We are an incredible rainbow nation. The whole world has acknowledged the immense capacity for pragmatism and forgiveness that characterises South Africans – all of us. It is a capacity and a characteristic that has given the world hope. And it is now time to draw on that capacity again.
“Our democracy is under threat a mere 22 years after its attainment. The current leadership will do nothing for our people other than that for which they have become reviled – theft, corruption, external capture, and rampant mismanagement.
“Comrades, I call on all of you to support me in once again calling for our president to step down. If he is truly committed to South Africa and its people then he should do the honourable thing and make way for those that want to save our party and save our democracy,” Phosa said.
– African News Agency (ANA)