President Jacob Zuma knowingly disregarded the Public Protector’s remedial actions on the non-security upgrades at his private Nkandla home, ANC veteran Mavuso Msimang said last week. 

Zuma told the nation last week that he didn’t knowingly violate the Constitution, and blamed bad legal advice for the scandal that has dragged on for the past five years. 

The Constitutional Court found that Zuma failed to uphold, defend and respect the Constitution over the upgrades when he disregarded Thuli Madonsela’s remedial action that he pay back a portion of the money spent on non-security upgrades. 

Addressing a meeting of the ANC Liliesleaf Farm branch in Midrand, Msimang, who is also Corruption Watch chairman, said when Madonsela’s report, “Secure in Comfort”, was released, Zuma said “he would not pay for anything he didn’t ask for.” 

Zuma has since changed his stance on the matter, saying he never said he wouldn’t pay. The governing ANC has rallied behind him, welcoming his apology for violating the supreme law of the land. 

ANC secretary-general Gwede Matashe has said calls for Zuma to resign were tantamount to the party tearing itself apart. 

Msimang, who was among the military veterans who called on Zuma to step down called on leaders to be trustworthy and credible. Msimang said he did not recognise the present ruling party anymore. 

ANC stalwarts Dennis Goldberg and Ben Turok lashed out at Zuma for his “political failure to lead”, and expressed shock at Zuma’s impunity for his disregard of democratic institutions. 

Former ANC Youth League leader, Ronald Lamola, also reiterated his call that Zuma should step down, owing to moral uprightness and ethics. 

Civil society organisations announced that they would mobilise the public to rise up and force Zuma out of office. 

At that gathering, unionist Zwelinzima Vavi said leaders of more than 30 unions supporting the formation of a new federation will discuss how to respond to the current crisis. “We are calling on every worker, be they in the farms, in our homes, in every big and small factory to respond to the call made by this coalition,” said Vavi. 

Top ANC veterans, including Cheryl Carolus, Msimang and Ronnie Kasriles, gathered at the steps of the Concourt yesterday and joined the chorus of calls for Zuma to step down. Carolus said by voicing her dissatisfaction with her party, the ANC, it did not imply that she was a disgruntled member. 

“I call on everyone and those in the ANC to stand up and say ‘enough is enough’…president please resign!”

Former Concourt Judge Zak Yacoob said: “I call on the ANC NWC (national working committee), cabinet to look beyond the legality… look into your conscience my ex-comrades! Zuma please go.” 

The Gauteng ANC Provincial Executive Committee, led by chairman Paul Mashatile, has been vocal in condemning Zuma over the Nkandla debacle. The province’s youth league structure and Mashatile’s deputy, Gauteng premier David Makhura, supported Mashatile’s criticism of Zuma’s handling of the Nkandla saga. 


Luyolo Mkentane, Theto Mahlakoana – Cape Argus