Opposition parties et al form Freedom Movement to kick President Zuma out
Although the intense anger that characterised South Africa in the days following the unceremonious dismissal of former Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, and his Deputy, Mcebisi Jonas, has somewhat melted away, opposition parties, civil society and the religious community are not letting up in their quest to remove President Jacob Zuma - this time, joining hands to launch the Freedom Movement.
Reading a joint statement at the Hector Pieterson Museum in Soweto, Johannesburg, the Freedom Movement's Prince Mashele said that the new movement aims to protect the Constitution, restore power to the people of South Africa and protect their hard-won freedom, and to safeguard the state.
"Our beloved country, South Africa, has been plunged into a national crisis never seen since before 1994. It is a crisis of a political leadership that has allowed our state to be hijacked by corrupt interests at the expense of needs and aspirations of the poor, the marginalised and patriotic South Africans," he said.
"The political mismanagement of our country has now reached a boiling point; it threatens to collapse the economy. Our country’s sovereign rating has been downgraded to junk status. This means that the cost of living for ordinary South Africans will become more unbearable.
"Many workers will lose their jobs. The unemployed will have no hope of finding employment. Food and transport will be more expensive. It will be harder for families with bonds to repay bank loans."
Mashele said that while millions of South Africans languish in poverty, President Jacob Zuma and his business associates are busy engineering changes in government to enrich a small circle of politically connected friends.
"The removal of former Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan, is a culmination of a plot by Zuma and his associates to capture the state and loot resources from the National Treasury.
"All this is done by a president who has been found by the Constitutional Court to have violated South Africa’s Constitution. There is tension in our nation today," he added.
"South Africans are worried about the future of their children and their country. The nation-building foundations laid by Nelson Mandela, Ahmed Kathrada and others are being demolished while the whole world watches. Our hopes and aspirations are being dashed.
"South Africans are fed up. They say enough is enough! They want a better future, a country of their dreams."
Mashele said that the Freedom Movement has representatives of political formations, civil society, workers, religious organisations, and academia, with the common goal to:
- remove President Jacob Zuma from office;
- protect the South African Constitution;
- restore power to the people of South Africa and protect their hard-won freedom; and
- safeguard the state as an instrument of transformation and the socio-economic development of all South Africans.
"The immediate objective of this grouping is to help facilitate a large-scale protest outside Parliament, when the Motion of No Confidence is debated.
"Then all the organisations that form part of this grouping will gather at Freedom Park, on Freedom Day: 27 April," he said.
Mashele said that the movement has the support of Archbishop Emeritus, Desmond Tutu, whom he quoted as having said: “In principle Aunt Leah and I are in support of a united coalition calling on all South Africans to join the event on 27 April 2017. It is important that we unite as South Africans to bring an end to state capture and that we further the values of our democratic society by speaking out against any and all kinds of injustice in our society. Let’s work together in the interest of a better life for all our people.”
Mashele added that "We shall not sit back and watch while the future of our children is destroyed by a rogue president working with parasitic private interests. This is our country. We shall defend it! We call upon South Africans to rise and reclaim their power. Let us stand up and defend our hardwon freedom and the future of our country."
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