1 June 2015
PRESS STATEMENT: RESPONSE TO THE NHLEKO REPORT ON NKANDLA
ULTIMATELY, #ZUMA WILL FALL!
DON’T MOURN! MOBILISE FOR PEOPLE’S POWER!
END THE LOOTING OF PUBLIC RESOURCES!
Nkandla! Nkandla! Nkandla! … We as the people will not stop saying Nkandla! We will not only talk, now we will also act to get back what has been stolen from us.
Thixo, thina siyazi ukuba wena awukho se-George Goch… Lizalis’ idinga lakho, Thixo nkosi yenyaniso!… Uze usivuselele.
Emerging from its 30-31 May 2015 meeting, the Interim National Working Committee (NWC) of the United Front (UF) adds its voice to the widespread public anger, shock and disappointment with the report and decision of the Minister of Safety and Security Nathi Nhleko that President Jacob Zuma will not reimburse any of the public money spent on his private home in Nkandla. The UF stands with all people of good conscience. We must all end this criminal conspiracy usurping the dreams and aspirations of the South Africa we want and deserve. It is this most serious attack on accountability, transparency and clean governance
We cannot merely moan and complain through press statements or social media, or merely laugh at the deliberately eccentric, yet callous President Zuma.
The UF calls on millions of our people to jam the Presidential Hotline, fax number, email address and post box with the message: “President Zuma – Pay Back the Money you owe us for your private home. Listen to us as the People!”. Wherever you are, please take the time to name and shame President Zuma using the contact details of his below:
1. Presidential Hotline number (toll free) – 17737;
2. Fax number to President Zuma’s office – 012 323 8246 and 086 681 0987;
4. Postal address – Union Buildings, Private Bag X1000, Pretoria, 0001
The UF endorses the call by former COSATU General Secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi, for a national march to the Union Buildings to demand that President Zuma pays back our money, and to defend the autonomy and integrity of the Public Protector and our hard-won Constitution. We shall join Comrade Vavi in the mobilisation of a coalition of people’s organisations to mobilise for this march. The UF further calls for such a coalition of people’s organisations to consider these additional actions:
1. A mass protest in front of parliament on the day that Minister Nhleko will present this report to the relevant committee of parliament and on the next day President Zuma addresses parliament;
2. A legal challenge to overturn Nhleko’s decision and report; and
3. The legal enforcement of the report of the Public Protector on the Nkandla matter.
In the comings weeks, the UF will consult a wide range of organisations to pursue the above actions and other proposals.
Further, at midday on 26 June 2015, the 1 000 delegates who will attend the UF Launch Conference in Garankuwa will also observe a moment of silence to protest Nhleko’s decision. This protest will reclaim the injunctions of the Freedom Charter that “no government can justly claim authority unless it is based on the will of all the people”, and “All Shall be Equal Before the Law!”. The UF calls on all South Africans to join these conference delegates by also observing a moment of silence and candlelight protest at 12h00 on 26 June 2015 at workplaces and communities. This will be the most appropriate way to mark the 60th anniversary of the Freedom Charter, and to reclaim it from the horrible legacy that Zuma represents. The UF will also use its Launch Rally on 28 June 2015 as a public protest action in support of the above demands. The UF calls on civil society and the general public to join this rally in the Tembisa township in Ekurhuleni.
We undertake these actions because Nhleko’s decision is a naked and unashamed defence of the indefensible. We echo Archbishop Desmond Tutu when he says, “it is unconscionable to spend hundreds of millions of rands on the President’s spurious ‘security’ needs’”. As the report of the Public Protector (Advocate Thuli Madonsela) on the same matter showed, the construction of a swimming pool, kraal and chicken coop at President Zuma’s home and other expenditure was illegitimate, excessive unlawful and wasteful expenditure that were for President Zuma’s private benefit for which he should reimburse the fiscus.
Nhleko’s report has engineered a profound ethical and constitutional crisis that cannot be ignored. President Zuma’s government wantonly disregards the constitutional obligation and duty for accountable, transparent, good and clean governance. Nhleko abused his executive powers to manipulate justice: this is executive lawlessness. Nhleko’s report undermines our collective intelligence and it does not respect us. This government does not care for public opinion and public interest.
Nkandla represents nothing else but the most greedy looting of public resources at the service of a greedy elite that President Zuma represents. This elite feeds off their control of what should be our public institutions and resources controlled, by and accountable to us as the people. The 25% increase in electricity prices Eskom is asking for, the hated e-tolls, golden handshakes for failed senior managers that drain the public purse, the illicit use of public money to pay for the hosting of the 2010 World Cup, the failure to deliver medicine to hospitals, the failure to supply decent sanitation in schools, the failure to solve the housing crisis – all of these, and many more are part of the enrichment of this elite. Like any criminal elite, they distribute mere crumbs to the poor in the form of social grants.
If President Zuma cared about this country, its Constitution and its people, he would voluntarily meet the call by the December 2013 Numsa Special National Congress to resign. This call is now more legitimate and relevant than ever. Zuma is not the President we deserve. Indeed, #Zuma will ultimately fall. But this is not possible without sustained mass mobilisation for clean and accountable governance, and socio-economic transformation.
Ultimately, #Zuma Must Fall!
Don’t Mourn! Mobilise for People’s Power!
FOR COMMENTS, CONTACT:
1. Mazibuko K. Jara: UF National Secretary – 083 987 9633
2. John Appolis: UF Campaigns Coordinator – 073 408 2674