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An apolitical civil rights movement is holding a People’s Summit in November this year (2023) to draw up a People’s Charter that will demand pledges of change from political parties in exchange for votes in next year’s election. Solly Moeng of The United South Africa Movement(TUSAM) tells BizNews how it was formed, which influential people are involved – and who will be speaking at the summit. Moeng says the people of South Africa are “on their own” because there’s no leadership. He describes as “treasonous” President Cyril Ramaphosa stance that he would rather be seen as a weak president than one under whom the ANC would split. And he says Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Commander-in-Chief Julius Malema does not have the “needed emotional basics” to be a leader of a country as diverse as South Africa. He also urges the Democratic Alliance (DA) to take heed of “repeated” accusations of it “being arrogant, doing its own thing”. He calls on political parties to work together because not one of them on its own can remove the ANC or weaken its power. – Chris Steyn
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Relevant timestamps from the interview
00:09 – Introductions
00:38 – Solly Moeng on the purpose of the movement
02:56 – The People’s Summit
07:26 – Who are involved in the working group of this civil rights movement
08:50 – Who will be speaking at the Summit
13:34 – His concern on the badmouthing taking place in the pact environment
14:41 – On why he is outside of SA
23:22 – Conclusions
Highlights from the Interview
An apolitical civil rights movement is holding a People’s Summit in November this year (2023) to draw up a People’s Charter that will demand pledges of change from political parties in exchange for votes in next year’s general election.
Solly Moeng of The United Movement of South Africa (TUSAM) tells BizNews how it was formed, which influential people are involved – and who will be speaking at the summit.
Moeng – who is known for his strong stance against corruption and abuses of power – also describes how he was persecuted and hounded out of South Africa by the ruling African National Congress (ANC).
“…we need a charter that speaks to today’s challenges faced by South Africa and to building a future. And the people have to be at the core of creating such a charter…reminiscent of the 1950s when people came together to create what is known as the Freedom Charter.”
TUSAM is planning to hold the People’s Summit on 17 and 18 November to draw up the charter with the structural changes that are going to be demanded in the short-, medium-, and long term.
To this Charter of Resolutions will be attached a pledge that political parties going into elections next year will be invited to sign if they agree with the content. “And we shall only endorse parties who sign the pledge. If they do not sign the pledge, we cannot do it.
“What needs to happen is that the ANC must be weakened, if not removed entirely. It won’t be removed entirely, but it must be weakened strongly so that we can start having realistic conversations about the kind of changes that need to happen. While the ANC controls all the levers of power, policymaking, and resources in South Africa, nothing will change.”
While TUSAM is not aligned with “anyone or group of political parties”, it is speaking to a number of parties “who really want change”.
That is why it has supported the recent Multi-Party Charter for 2024. “I’ve been calling for political parties to work together because not one of them on its own can win, can remove the ANC or weaken the ANC’s power. These people need to shift their egos aside and work together…”
Moeng urges the Democratic Alliance (DA) to take seriously “repeated” accusations of it “being arrogant, doing its own thing”.
“…but that’s the one side of the coin, which is the political party side. They need to organise themselves. But it doesn’t mean that the other side, the civil society side, must not also organise itself to make sure that we go into next year all more or less in agreement to say what kind of country do you want to see post the elections.
“We can’t wait for the elections to happen again and then end up with this kind of situation that we have in Johannesburg and other Metros where people will start saying, okay, now how big is the cake?… It’s not about the political parties, it should be about the people.”
Moeng, who is also a top Brand Reputation Manager, says all brands have to be led by a credible leader who sets the tone from the front, who’s ethical, who is balanced, who’s mature, and who has high levels of emotional intelligence.
“I think we had that kind of leader when (Nelson) Mandela was in power. We…haven’t had that leader in a long time; somebody who’s able to stand up on a moral high ground and say, stop it. And we know the current president is totally incapable. I mean, people even in his own party do things. He said he had many, many opportunities to say, you can’t do this, you can’t do this, you can’t do this.
“He stood in front…of TV cameras, next to the South African flag, wearing a suit, not as ANC President, but as South African President, and told the world that he would rather be seen as a weak president than one under whom the ANC was going to split. That was treasonous.
“When he speaks as my people, our people, as black people only, he’s acting against the Constitution.
“ …Phala Phala ensures that he is not able to stand up on the moral high ground. The fact that the ANC did for him what they did for (Jacob) Zuma earlier, defended him in Parliament, means that he owes them. They saved his career. He’s even more and more indebted to the ANC and not to the people of South Africa.
“So the people of South Africa are on their own. There’s no leadership. And until we have the kind of leadership that’s credible, that responds to the Constitution on behalf of all of us in our diversity and not just one political party, one section of the population, then we’re going to continue going astray.
“You can’t have people like (Julius) Malema (Economic Freedom Fighters Commander-in-Chief), for instance… that guy doesn’t even have the needed emotional basics to be a leader of a country as diverse as South Africa. So we don’t have that leader.
“To be honest, even in the current crop of political party, opposition party leaders, I’m yet to see somebody who can be that person. I’m sure that, I’m not saying there isn’t, but we have a lot of work to do and we need to shun the race thing. “
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