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By Lizeka Tandwa, News24
Johannesburg – ANC stalwart Reverend Frank Chikane told journalists not to compare former president Thabo Mbeki’s recall with calls for President Jacob Zuma to resign.
Chikane was among a delegation of religious leaders who held a meeting with four of the ANC’s top six to ask them to assist Zuma to resign.
Chikane said there was a tendency to equate the calls for Zuma’s resignation with Mbeki’s fall from grace.
Chikane served under Mbeki’s administration at the time of his recall.
He subsequently wrote a tell-all book – Eight Days in September – about the days leading up to Mbeki’s recall.
Chikane said the four national ANC leaders who were present at the meeting were feeling the pain and hurt of the nation.
“The leadership of the ANC said they are [also] hurting, they are going through hurt. The nation is hurting, everybody is hurting in this country,” he said.
Chikane said their [the religious leaders] request to the ANC was based on what was good for South Africa and to avoid any events that could cost people’s lives.
“We don’t want anybody to be hurt, we don’t want anybody to go on the streets and be hurt. I think it’s more the president who could assist us to deal with this matter,” he said.
South African Council of Churches Council president Bishop Zipho Siwa told journalists religious bodies refused to accept Zuma’s apology.
“He says that he apologises for the frustration and confusion, we were not confused from the beginning, he is apologising for those who were confused. For us he has not made any apology as we stand here,” he said.
The calls for Zuma to resign have increased following the Constitutional Court’s ruling that he failed to uphold the Constitution when he did not comply with Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s remedial action regarding payment for the non-security upgrades to his Nkandla homestead.
The call has come from opposition parties, civil society, some ANC members and party veterans such as Ahmed Kathrada, former finance minister Trevor Manuel, former ANC deputy secretary general Cheryl Carolus and uMkhonto weSizwe veteran Mavuso Msimang. – News24
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