WATCH: South Africa rising – mass movement targets Zuptas on Mandela Day

JOHANNESBURG — Sipho Pityana, convenor of Save South Africa, as well as other high profile South Africans like ANC MP Makhosi Khoza are set to gather in Johannesburg at Rhema Church on Tuesday in a rallying call for President Zuma to step down. At a press briefing on Monday, Pityana and other representatives from the likes of OUTA and the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation expressed their growing displeasure at the Zuptas’ capture of the state. OUTA is laying further criminal charges regarding state capture while the Gupta email leaks continue to shake South African society to its core. The likes of Pityana further said that the gathering on Tuesday could be the beginning of a “second struggle” that seeks to oust corrupt cronies and engender an ethical leadership in the country. It’s unclear how many people are set to attend the gathering. But it’s apt that it’s happening on Mandela Day (18 July)… – Gareth van Zyl

Press release from Save SA:

Civil society organisations unite against state capture and to recapture the state

Close to 100 civil society organisations are gathering at the Conference for the Future of South Africa tomorrow on what would have been Madiba’s 99th birthday, to build a new broad front against state capture.

The conference, which takes place at Rhema Bible Church in Randburg, is being hosted by the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation and Save South Africa, and follows several consultative meetings with civil society formations across the country.

We already have confirmation from a number of delegations from Gauteng, as well from the Western Cape, Save South Africa delegations from the Eastern Cape and the Free State, and from KwaZulu Natal.

They represent national organisations with a deep history of opposing corruption and the abuse of power, such as Section27, Equal Education, Students for Social Justice and the Treatment Action Campaign, and younger organisations such as OUTA. We also have representatives coming from labour, business, a number of faith-based organisations, and organisations representing other sectoral interests. They will be joined by other interested groups, such as the South African Women’s Coalition, and a number of stalwarts.

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.

The glue that has brought these organisations together is opposition to state capture, and a growing sense of repulsion at how the architects of state capture are stealing public money, handing over power and authority to interests outside the state, and undermining crucial state institutions such as the NPA, the Hawks, the police, and a growing list of state-owned companies.

Civil society is increasingly angry at the fact that the billions of rands which are being stolen from the system are depriving the poor of basic services such as health care, education and social support. This cannot be allowed to continue.

Demonstrators carry placards as they march to protest against corruption in Cape Town, South Africa September 30, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

We have specifically chosen Mandela Day for our conference, because we believe there has never been a more important time to re-emphasise Madiba’s values – including the core value of continuing the struggle for a better South Africa.

To help us, we have called up a range of eminent South Africans opposed to state capture. They include the chairperson of PRASA, Popo Molefe, a representative from the SABC 8, and ANC MP Makhosi Khoza.

Although this is purely a civil society initiative, driven by our commitment to ensuring accountability from political parties, we have invited political parties to be present tomorrow.

We believe political parties have a duty to ensure that their elected representatives at all levels of government use powers given them by the Constitution to ensure accountability, transparency, and the proper use of state resources to stop state capture.

We appeal to them – and other MPs – to attend, to observe, and to stand up and be counted.

We have particularly invited Members of Parliament to join us because of our belief that Parliament is one of the most important sites of struggle at present, as we approach the Vote of No Confidence in President Zuma on the 8th of August.

We will be making the 8th of August a particular focus in our action planning, and looking at how we demonstrate to members of parliament that South Africans expect them to do the right thing when they vote – and vote to get Zuma removed from office.

Houses of Parliament, Cape Town, South Africa.

But we will also be looking beyond that, as we believe it is critical that civil society plays a role – and sets the agenda – as we get closer to elections in 2019.

It is with that in mind that we will be crafting an action plan to deal with the immediate crisis, but will also look beyond that at a South Africa that is led by leaders with integrity, respect and humility, and that their focus is on fulfilling the dream outlined in our Constitution – a South Africa where the people are first, where there is respect for people’s power, and where the key focus is on social justice rather than on stealing money.

The Conference for the Future of South Africa is a landmark event, and we encourage organisations that are not yet part of our process to join us – if not tomorrow, then further down the road — as we build a non-partisan civil society, with maximum unity, in the interests of all South Africans.

  • Mandla Nkomfe (Cofusa convenor)
  • Neeshan Bolton (Ahmed Kathrada Foundation director)
  • Dominique Msibi (OUTA)
  • Sipho Pityana (Save South Africa convenor)
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