Zuma's resignation: The reaction

Organisations from across the political spectrum welcome President's early departure

AfriForum welcomes Zuma’s resignation; will ensure that he’s prosecuted 

15 February 2018

AfriForum welcomes President Jacob Zuma’s announcement that he will resign as Head of State. The civil rights organisation feels that Zuma’s resignation should by no means imply that he will be able to evade prosecution and therefore AfriForum will intensify its efforts to ensure Zuma’s prosecution. A campaign in this regard has been launched. 

Kallie Kriel, CEO of AfriForum, says that the organisation will take all reasonable steps to ensure that the National Prosecuting Agency (NPA) prosecutes Zuma. “If the NPA refuses to prosecute Zuma, AfriForum’s private prosecuting unit led by Adv. Gerrie Nel will institute private prosecution.”

Issued by Kallie Kriel, CEO, AfriForum


DA rejoices at Jacob Zuma’s resignation

The DA welcomes Jacob Zuma’s overdue resignation as President. We rejoice with all South Africans today as the long, painful decade of Zuma’s presidency finally comes to an end.

Jacob Zuma did untold harm to our country. More people are unemployed than ever before, and more people live in poverty than when he came into office. On his watch, corruption has been allowed to flourish to the point of nearly destroying our country and completely capturing the state and the prosecution system.

That will forever be his shameful legacy.

Even in his resignation speech tonight, he refused to take any responsibility for his actions, and for the harm he caused the country. Such shameless disdain requires a level of pathology that reveals Jacob Zuma’s true nature.

He must now face the 783 criminal charges still awaiting him before the Courts. There can be no amnesty or immunity for Jacob Zuma.

There were over half a dozen Motions of No Confidence across almost 1000 days where the ANC had opportunities to rid South Africa of Jacob Zuma and his toxic corrupt web.

Now that the ANC have done what they should have done almost three years ago, we expect the 783 charges awaiting him to be prosecuted and for justice to prevail.

Zuma built a deep system of corruption that has penetrated every part of the government and the criminal prosecution system. These criminal networks run deep, and will not be easy to uproot. It will take more than talk of a New Deal.

After getting rid of Zuma, the ANC must show serious intent to rid itself of other corrupt individuals, like DD Mabuza, Ace Magashule, Pule Mabe and many others.

We need total change to enforce 15-year minimum sentences on anyone found guilty of corruption and the South African Police Service must be professionalised so that they can become the trusted custodians of our safety.

Let’s never forget that every sign of Zuma’s future corruption was there for all to see before he was elected. Now the country looks to Cyril Ramaphosa to save us from a man that he and the ANC protected and supported. We must never allow this to happen again.

We believe that whomever is the new President requires a mandate from the public, and that South Africans should express themselves as to whether the ANC can be trusted to tackle corruption. That is why we have called for the dissolution of parliament, along with other opposition parties. Only a DA government can bring the new beginning that South Africa so desperately needs.

Issued by Mmusi Maimane, Leader of the Democratic Alliance

SACP welcomes President Zuma's belated resignation

The SACP joins the great majority of South Africans, not least comrades across our Alliance in welcoming President Jacob Zuma’s belated resignation. This is something that should have happened a long time ago. 

The levels of parasitic looting of public resources that have occurred under President Zuma’s watch, the firing of ministers who have stood in his way, the erosion of the hard won rule of law, the perversion of key state institutions notably in the criminal justice system, the manipulation of the public broadcaster, and the auctioning off of our national sovereignty in the pursuit of private accumulation have caused huge damage to our country. The principal victims of the state capture agenda in which President Zuma has been central has had a particularly devastating impact on the working class and the rural and urban poor.

In welcoming this long overdue resignation there are many lessons to be learnt. In the first place, this was not a willing stepping-down. Only a protracted struggle from within the ANC and its alliance has finally dislodged this President gone wrong. The SACP is proud of the role that we have played in this respect from within the Alliance and indeed from within the ANC caucus.

We also take this occasion to salute the role that many others have played in this development – including the important role of many fine journalists. 

Going forward, we must be under no illusions that the struggle against corporate capture of the state, and against the looting of public resources, has ended. Today an important breakthrough has been achieved. 

President Zuma’s resignation must now become a bridge-head for pursuing further action. The momentum of self-correction from within the ANC and state must be sustained and accelerated.  

Never again must we allow an individual, whatever their struggle credentials, to stand above organisational discipline, collective leadership and the democratic rule of law.

One of the critical tasks South Africans need to complete as we move forward is that of intensifying the battle to dismantle parallel state mechanisms, including rogue intelligence units and associted parasitic networks. Rogue intelligence is more likely going to be used to try and tarnish the image of sections of the leadership of our movement and civil society. 

Issued by Alex Mohubetswane Mashilo, Head of Communications & National Spokesperson, SACP

SAMWU Welcomes Zuma Resignation

The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) notes and welcomes the resignation by the now former President of the Republic of South Africa, Jacob Zuma. In welcoming the resignation, we register our displeasure and disappointment in the manner in which Jacob Zuma dragged the process. 

Jacob Zuma had in the last days of his presidency presents himself as a supreme leader who was above the constitution of the country and that of the party which had deployed him to the position  which he held at the pleasure of the ANC. 

We have no sympathy for Jacob Zuma, particularly following the shocking interview which he had with the SABC today wherein he Presented himself as an individual who was above the organization and the constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 

In welcoming the resignation which is a great Valentines gift to South Africans , we are of the view that judicial processes should however be continued. We believe that the incoming President of the Republic should ensure that processes which are in place particularly those of State Capture are acted on with lighting speed. 

It is for this reason that we welcome the Hawks raid at the Gupta compound in Saxonwold, Johannesburg. We joyously celebrate the reported arrests which have already been effected. We are further convinced that more arrests should follow particularly for those who have been looting State resources. 

This is in deed a new era and dawn for South Africa and its citizens. We therefore urge the incoming administration to ensure that investigations and action on State Capture continue without any political interference. No criminal should be let off the hook. 

In line with our NEC resolutions, we believe that there should be no conditions attached to this resignation. In this regard, urge the now Acting President of South Africa, Comrade Cyril Ramaphosa and his collective to work hard in unifying the organization and the county beyond political and racial lines. 

We also commend the National Executive Committee of the ANC for finally having the backbone and acting in the interest of the country and recalling Jacob Zuma, although the decision was taken a little too late. 

SAMWU further  urges South Africans to go out in their numbers to register and confirm their voter registration details with the IEC for the upcoming General Elections on the 10th and 11th March 2018 at their nearest voting station. 

Issued by SAMWU Head Office  

A new dawn beckons for all South Africans

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] welcomes the long awaited resignation of President Jacob Zuma as State President of the Republic of South Africa.

As NEHAWU, we hope the decision taken by President Zuma to resign will accelerate the progress of undoing the plethora of challenges faced by our government, the movement and society at large. The current moment presents us with an opportunity to recoup and reposition our government to be able to prioritise service delivery.

Once again, we call on Cde Ramaphosa to rise to the occasion of leading the country out of desolation. Reuniting and refocusing the Alliance to march in unison towards the realisation of the National Democratic Revolution [NDR] should be on top of the list to-do by Cde Ramaphosa and his collective. As the Alliance and structures of the Mass Democratic Movement, we owe it to the masses of our people to dismantle high levels of poverty, unemployment and inequalities.

Everything considered and based on our own on-going engagement with our members, the union concluded in its National Executive Committee held at the end of October 2016 that the ANC should continue to enjoy support of the broader masses of our people and the decisiveness of the newly elected ANC NEC to recall Cde Zuma affirms that the centre of power is the ANC. In our view, the decision to recall President Zuma once again shows that the current ANC NEC listens, brings hope and also confirms to South Africans that the ANC cares and is a home for all. In this regard, the union calls on the leadership of the ANC, Alliance partners and broader democratic movement to close ranks through going to their respective members to explain the reasons for the recall and unite in the face of an unprecedented offensive against our liberation movement and revolution.

We believe that the offensive unleashed against our movement has in part been embolden by factional battles raging predominantly within ANC and scandals of high level of corruption hence as part of closing ranks the ANC must unite along the newly elected leadership and implementing the 54th Conference resolutions in particular getting rid of corruption including providing strategic leadership in government.

The national union calls on all South Africans above the age of 18 to register to vote in the 2019 National General Elections on the 10th and 11thMarch 2018. As NEHAWU, we continue to have faith in the ANC and believe that only the ANC can bring betterment to the lives of all South Africans.

Issued by NEHAWU Secretariat

COSATU welcomes the resignation of President Jacob Zuma

The Congress of South African Trade Unions welcomes the resignation of President Jacob Zuma. This resignation was long overdue. We do laud him for finally doing the right thing and freeing the country from what was a momentous week of political turmoil.

This decision will hopefully allow the country to move away from the relentless partisan fighting, the prolonged political gridlock, and also the damaging corruption scandals. Now the ANC has an opportunity to work to consolidate the gains of our country’s young democracy and rescue many poor people from the clutches of poverty.

We expect the new incoming president to restore confidence in the ANC and its government by giving its government a facelift. He needs to deal with mediocrity and bureaucratic arrogance that has paralysed government over the last few years. Some ministers and government leaders need to be removed and replaced in order for our economy to grow and the people centred development to thrive.

COSATU expects the fight against corruption to be intensified and the new president to prioritise a Job Summit that will help u deal with the scourge of unemployment. The new government leadership needs to work to resolve South Africa’s structural unemployment through deliberate planning and imaginative policy formulation.

Issued by Sizwe Pamla, National Spokesperson, COSATU

R2K statement on the resignation of Jacob Zuma

The Right2Know Campaign sheds no tears for the end to the Zuma presidency.

We will remember him for the Secrecy Bill, Marikana and for his corruption.

Zuma will be remembered for the Secrecy Bill, which was at one time his hallmark legislative effort. This Secrecy Bill would have been used to cover up the secret dealings of government institutions, and criminalise the work of journalists, whistleblowers and activists who tried to bring information to the public. So great was the threat that it prompted the forming of a people's campaign, the Right2Know Campaign. As a result of tireless efforts of people from every corner of our country, the Secrecy Bill was effectively stopped: it has sat on Zuma's desk for over three years unsigned.

Zuma will be remembered for Marikana. We will never forget that the police gunned down people on live television; They committed murders and cover-ups all in the protection of mining capital. To this date not a single person has been arrested for these murders, except for the miners themselves. If Zuma had a shred of decency he would have resigned that very day. But instead he hung onto power for as long as possible, appointing a Commission of Inquiry to play for time while he protected his allies and himself. Jacob Zuma's government committed murder and has never faced the consequences.

Zuma will be remembered for selling out the people of South Africa in a series of secret and corrupt deals - not only those labelled 'state capture', but also his deals with European corporations as part of the Arms Deal, and his relentless pursuit of a secret Nuclear Deal with Russia.

Right2Know sheds no tears for the end to the Zuma presidency. But we do shed tears of anger for the injustices that were done while his Presidency lasted.

Start to finish, Zuma's presidency has been a sustained attack on openness, transparency and the free flow of information. His legacy is a decline in the quality of democracy for ordinary people, and a ramp-up in secrecy, securitisation of the state, persecution of whistleblowers and abuses of power.

And yet the people of South Africa have shown that they are willing to stand up to such abuses. In response to the Secrecy Bill, we saw the formation of the Right2Know Campaign. In response to the Marikana Massacre, we saw the Marikana Support Campaign.

We do not delude ourselves that South Africa will be 'rescued' by the leaders who will replace Zuma. Many of them were henchman in the same scandals as the man they are now evicting from the Union Buildings. Nor will it be rescued by the opposition parties.

If South Africa is to be rescued, it will be by the people of South Africa, working street by street to fight for a better life for themselves and a more democratic and just society for all. There is much work to be done!

Issued by Busi Mtabane, R2K communicator

SAFTU welcomes President Jacob Zuma’s resignation

The South African Federation of Trade unions warmly welcomes President Jacob Zuma’s resignation. This is long overdue! 

Zuma betrayed the working class of this country. He conned many into believing that he had the working class’s interests in his heart, but he proved through his actions that he is the most self-centered and self-serving leader only concerned about his self-preservation.

We are encouraged by the recent activities of the Hawks and call on Cyril Ramaphosa to waste no time in appointing a credible Director of Public Prosecutions and to launch a concerted campaign to dismantle the networks created during the Zuma presidency. 

As we close the Jacob Zuma chapter, SAFTU is fully cognitive of the reality that the nightmare the working class faced remains! Unemployment was a huge problem during the colonial and apartheid era; it is a problem that worsened under the 24 years of the ANC rule. 

Jacob Zuma inherited a catastrophic unemployment rate at 23.7%, when only counting workers actively searching for work. He worsened that already terrible situation, leaving office when the unemployment is 26,7%. This alone underlined the correctness of the SAFTU position that we have a ANC problem and not necessarily a Zuma problem per se. Zuma is a creation of the ANC, not the other way around. 

Poverty was a huge problem facing the black working class during the colonial and apartheid era. But poverty worsened during the 24 years, not 10 years, of ANC rule. In 2011, 27 million South Africans were living in poverty. In 2015 that number increased to 30 million. This can’t be possibly blamed on one member of the ANC who enjoyed a total and unconditional support from his party throughout his misrule. 

Colonialism and apartheid created inequalities as a deliberate policy to the subjugated black majority., yet inequality worsened over the past 24 years of ANC rule. Today we have the infamous title of being the country with worst inequality in the whole world! This has little to do with the disastrous Zuma presidency, but ANC policies that produced these conditions. 

Workers face the reality of a deepening deindustrialisation. Farmworkers face the reality of R1380 minimum wage; informal sector workers return to their pauper status. Overall it’s business as usual. Those with property and land keep their positions and those facing property hunger and landlessness face that reality. 

The introduction of minimum wages of R20 an hour, R18 for farm workers, R15 for domestic workers and R11 per hour for EPWP workers is a reality we will continue to face. The threat to undermine the hard-won right to strike remains. 

Working people will go sleep in their gang-infested townships and villages where justice is a pipe dream. They will wake up to the reality of the lack of public transport system that is reliable, accessible, safe and affordable. They will continue to be asked to pay for using the best infrastructure through e-tolls! 

Their children will continue to attend dysfunctional public schools. The reality of the dysfunctional public health that results in many preventable deaths as we saw in the Life Esidimeni saga will continue. 

It’s not yet uhuru for the working class! That’s why we have called on them to remain mobilized and in discussions on how we should respond to this worsening situation! 

Issued by Patrick Craven, SAFTU Acting Spokesperson

ANCWL statement on the resignation of President Jacob Zuma

The African National Congress Women's League (ANCWL) welcomes the resignation of  President Jacob Zuma inline with the decision of the African National Congress (ANC) National Executive Committee (NEC) to recall him as a State President. 

Whilst acknowledging that more still to be done, the ANCWL leadership collective appreciates the work done by ANC led government under President Zuma. We call on the ANC led government to build on those legacies in the best interest of the poor and working class. It is only the ANC that remains the hope of the masses of the country. The ANC must continue with its socio-economic transformation agenda of the country to redress the injustices of the past which perpetuates white supremacy and white arrogance in South Africa. 

The ANCWL is unapologetic in demanding from the ANC NEC to full implement radical changes in the structure, systems, institutions and patterns of ownership, management and control of the economy in favour of all South Africans, especially the poor, the majority of whom are African and female.  The ANC led government  must also  lead in legislating 50/50 gender parity in all sectors at all levels as a step towards eradicating patriarchy and male chauvinism in their country. 

The ANCWL further applauds President Zuma for assuring the members and supporters of the ANC and society in general that he will continue to selflessly serve the movement that he dedicated most of his life into it. The ANCWL calls all members and supporters of the ANC to emulate President Zuma commit to selflessly serve the movement even when not in any position in the movement. One does not necessarily to be in a position at any level of the structures of the movement to serve the movement. 

Thank you Nxamalala, Msholozi. 

Issued by Meokgo Matuba, ANCWL Secretary General, 15 February 2018

Zuma will be remembered as a natural disaster

Trade union Solidarity today said that Jacob Zuma’s legacy is that of a natural disaster and that Zuma had caused South Africa almost irreparable damage.

“In the eyes of the international world South Africa fell from being the world’s darling to a polecat state as a result of Jacob Zuma’s foreign policy. Under his leadership the South African government smuggled Omar al-Bashir out of the country instead of arresting him. This must be the most unadulterated sign of how low South Africa fell in international esteem,” Solidarity Research Institute (SRI) Head Connie Mulder said. 

At the same time, Zuma’s cabinet reshuffles and other appointments he made created extremely high political risk for foreign investors in South Africa. Cessation of investment and the country’s downgrade to junk status serve as the best assessment of the economic damage his presidency wreaked.

According to Mulder, Jacob Zuma and the ANC saw to it that South Africa’s economy stagnated. “During his presidency government just stood by while government debt spiked and unemployment remained stubbornly high. This while virtually every government institution and parastatal has plunged into total disorder due to the appointment of cadres and rent-seekers for whom corruption is commonplace, while the never-ending merry-go-round of appointing Police Commissioners and NPA heads further undermined confidence in South Africa’s justice system,” Mulder said.

Locally, the Zuma era was one of unprecedented polarisation. Zuma set the tone at the 105th ANC conference when he posited that all South Africa’s problems could be attributed to the arrival of white people in 1652. “The upshot of this polarisation has been unprecedented racial tension that often flares up, with a UN committee (ICERD) having expressed concern about government’s rhetoric towards minorities. Against this background Zuma’s Gupta partners paid for Bell Pottinger to incite racial tension in South Africa with Zuma looking on,” Mulder explained. 

“Zuma will be remembered as the president who saw himself as king. He regarded South Africa as his personal piggy bank and with his friends he plundered the country. He built himself a palace at Nkandla. He set himself above the law and was repeatedly called to task by the courts. It is poetic justice that his presidency ends in the way it had started – in the form of a humiliating recall by once loyal cadres” Mulder said.

Issued by Francois Redelinghuys, Spokesperson, Solidarity, 15 February 2018

ANCYL statement on the resignation of President Jacob Zuma

The African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) welcomes the decision of President Cde Jacob Zuma to accede to decision of the African National Congress (ANC) National Executive Committee (NEC) that he must resigned as a State President of the Republic of South Africa.

The ANC NEC is the highest decision making body and as one of the longest selfless servant of our movement, Cde Jacob Zuma has abided to the decision of the ANC NEC.  Notwithstanding the challenges that he has encountered when discharging his duties as State President, there were remarkable achievements by the government during his tenure that the ANCYL applauds. Amongst many of the achievements is the adoption of the National Development Plan (NDP) that is South Africa's a long-term plan for socio-economic transformation of the country.

During his service as the Head of State  the government increased access to education at all levels for the children of the poor and working class. Over 9 million learners attended no fee schools and free higher education was finally announced by the ANC led government.  The ANC led government succeeded in building the University of Mpumalanga, Sol Plaatjie University and the Sefako Makgatho University for Health Sciences. This are first post-apartheid universities.The ANCYL calls on the ANC led government to build on this legacy Cde Zuma's administration and increase number of universities, TVET colleges and open the educators and nursing colleges in the country.

Amongst other reasons, the massive roll-out of ARV's and increase to access to primary health care during the his tenure has led into the life expectancy of South Africans increasing. The ANC led government must intensify it's implementation of the National Health Insurance scheme initiated during his tenure.

The ANCYL salutes Cde Zuma and looking forward to have him continue to contribute in various level of the movement to ensure that radical economic transformation is realised in our lifetime.

Issued by Mlondi Mkhize, National Spokesperson African National Congress Youth League