Recapture army on the march: Broad alliance to meet to test anti-JZ waters

18 July 2017 - 07:06 By NATASHA MARRIAN
Mandla Nkomfe. File photo.
Mandla Nkomfe. File photo.
Image: Martin Rhodes

The first steps in building a new "broad front" against state capture will be taken at a conference on the future of South Africa at the Rhema Church in Randburg today.

The conference will be hosted by the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation and Save SA, and is set to include about 400 delegates from about 100 civil society organisations.

It will also include ANC veterans and MPs from political parties, including the ANC.

Conference convener Mandla Nkomfe said the SA Communist Party is also part of the process.

The meeting marks an attempt to "recapture the state", Kathrada Foundation director Neeshan Bolton told journalists at a media briefing yesterday.

This comes in the wake of the Gupta e-mail scandal and as law enforcement agencies appear paralysed to act on the revelations of the extent of the Indian family's influence over President Jacob Zuma's administration.

It also comes ahead of a scheduled motion of no confidence in Zuma, to be held on August 8.

Save SA's Sipho Pityana said it was regrettable that MPs were forced to choose between a leader and the people of the country.

He said some MPs faced threats as they were perceived as hostile towards the president.

Outspoken ANC MP Makhosi Khoza, who has said she will vote with her conscience come August 8, is set to address the conference today.

The MPs attending the gathering may provide a glimpse into how they will vote in the motion.

The conference will also be used to show MPs that they should "do the right thing" and vote against Zuma on August 8.

"We believe the Conference for the Future of South Africa is an initiative that all South Africans should take seriously - a landmark in our nation's strong history of civic activism, the struggle against wrongdoing, and the quest for a more equal, more just and more honest society than the one we live in now," a conference media statement said.

Pityana said yesterday that Zuma should face the full might of the law, in response to questions about a possible amnesty deal for the president reported over the weekend.

"I doubt our constitution and legal framework would permit that ... It will create the impression of putting an individual above the law ... it sets a bad precedent if the president doesn't face the law," Pityana said.

Organisers also said they did not have a particular preference when asked whether they would be backing any candidates in the ANC's succession race.

Bolton said the ANC's future party leadership should include men and women of integrity.