Tide rises against Zuma

08 April 2016 - 02:51 By Sam Mkokeli and Nivashni Nair

Pressure continues to be piled on the ANC to recall President Jacob Zuma.A letter signed by about 40 former members of "Masupatsela" (young pioneers) - those who were born or raised in exile - was sent to ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe on Wednesday, calling for Zuma to go.The Jakes Gerwel Foundation yesterday added its voice to " a dialogue aimed at the restoration of visionary cohesion and nation-building at this hour of need in South Africa".Masupatsela said: " We are extremely unsettled by [ Zuma's] disingenuous and contradictory assertion that he had always been willing to pay for the non-security features at Nkandla."The group said Zuma's apology on Friday night was insufficient.It said: "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."It also criticised the party's top structures for defending Zuma.ANC spokesman Zizi Kodwa said it would engage with groups calling for Zuma's recall.Former senior members of the tripartite alliance have joined the growing chorus of people calling for Zuma's head.Kodwa said: "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."Despite the furore, Judge Edwin Cameron said yesterday that there was no constitutional crisis.Addressing law students at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Pietermaritzburg, he said: "The political elite accepts the constitution. President Jacob Zuma accepts the outcome of the court. Parliament itself has."We don't have a constitutional crisis because of process. Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng's judgment a week ago was only the start of a process, the enunciated principle, which we now as parliament, opposition parties, the governing party and civil society, have to fulfil."Cameron also claimed the populace had learnt from apartheid.He said: "The beneficial legacy of apartheid is a sceptical people, a people sceptical of power, a people willing to challenge and question power, a people willing to examine what the power is providing for them or whether it should be doing more."Your parents and grandparents under apartheid learned that government could be disobeyed and in certain circumstances should be disobeyed, and that is the breeding ground of our own political debate today, which is vibrant, raucous and disrespectful. It's wonderful."Cameron said the Nkandla ruling was the Constitutional Court's second "big ruling" after the Treatment Action Campaign won its landmark case forcing president Thabo Mbeki's government to provide antiretrovirals to those with HIV."We have given many rulings, around about 450 judgments of the Constitutional Court in 22 years. And these two were momentous decisions," he said.

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