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Opposition parties agree to mobilise supporters for a National Day of Action

APRIL 3, 2017
Opposition parties agree to mobilise supporters for a National Day of Action

Without giving a date, the country's opposition parties - the Democratic Alliance (DA), Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), Inkata Freedom Party (IFP), the Congress of the People (COPE), the United Democratic Movement (UDM), and the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) met on Monday in Johannesburg where they agreed to mobilise for a day of National Action in response to the political drama the country finds itself in following the axing of former Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, his Deputy and other Ministers.

The meeting was attended by the DA's Mmusi Maimane; the EFF's Godrich Gardee and Dali Mpofu; the UDM's Bantu Holomisa; COPE's Mosiuoa Lekota; the IFP's Mangaqa Mncwango and the ACDP's Kenneth Meshoe.

In a joint statement, the parties said President Jacob Zuma had instituted a "hostile takeover of the Treasury" and has sold the country "to a grouping whose only interests are amassing wealth and weakening the State through the theft of the people’s money and the undermining of the country’s Constitution".

"These are indeed irregular and trying times for South Africa and the people, which demands a united vision and programme of action from leaders of society, like Opposition Parties represented in the National Assembly," read the statement.

"Opposition Parties agreed that the Constitution must come first, and the country must be protected from those who seek to undermine it.  We therefore deliberated and agreed upon a number of issues in this regard."

Opposition Programme of Action

This Programme of Action stems from already existing partnerships and other ad hoc co-operation arrangements which exist in the country’s metros and other municipalities, where the Opposition governs for all residents, regardless of their political affiliation.

"The opposition-led metros serve as important platforms to show what the Opposition can do for the people of South Africa, which present a tangible example of the work that we can do, when we united against corruption, state capture and other ills in society.

"Furthermore, we agreed that there is a need for a Summit that brings together Political Parties and Civil Society to discuss the state of South Africa," the parties said.

"Going forward, we will at times act collectively and at times as separate political parties, depending on the nature of the issue facing the coutry. Our Programme of Action will be to put the people first, with the vision to build a better South Africa."

National Day of Action to the Union Buildings

"It was agreed that as Opposition Parties, we will start the process of mobilising their structures from across the country for a National Day of Action to the Union Buildings. We are planning to have this mass action event as soon as possible.

"We will also be engaging Civil Society formations and other Political Parties to mobilise in order to support the people’s National Day of Action to the Union Buildings, so that we are united and not fractured in our call to save our country in the short-term," the parties said.

"We therefore call upon all South Africans and the whole of Civil Society to support this mass action, where will speak with one voice calling for Jacob Zuma to remove himself from the Union Buildings, failing which he will be pushed, using democratic processes. Zuma cannot hold an entire country hostage."

 Motion of No Confidence

 Opposition Parties said that they are fully behind the Motion of No Confidence in Jacob Zuma and the call for the Speaker of the National Assembly to reconvene the House for a special sitting so that this matter of National Importance can be debated and voted on.

The DA and EFF have already asked the Speaker to reconvene Parliament. The UDM submitted a similar request on Monday.

"We expect an urgent answer from the Speaker about progress made in scheduling the Motion, should we not be satisfied with her response, court action, supported by Opposition Parties will be taken," the parties said.

Given the crisis engulfing our society, we are confident that Members of Parliament will stay true the Constitution and their Oath of Office.

"The Motion of No Confidence is not about the removal the ANC.

"The ANC was voted into government by the majority, through the democratic project, which we respect. In the short-term, we are working to remove Jacob Zuma, and elect someone from the ranks of the National Assembly who is committed to South Africa, the people and the Constitution," the parties said.

Court Cases

The Opposition parties said that they support the two court cases which are currently before the Judiciary.

The DA will be submitting papers for a Review Application which seeks to test the legal rationality of Jacob Zuma’s disastrous Cabinet Reshuffle.

The EFF, UDM and COPE are currently before the Constitutional Court to probe the process and duty of Parliament to facilitate the impeachment of the President.

Conclusion

"Opposition Party Leaders are united in their call for Zuma to go and our belief in the supremacy of the Constitution. The choice South Africans must make is: Zuma or South Africa. The two cannot co-exist."