Many people still love and respect President Jacob Zuma, but they will respect him even more if he does the right thing and step down, former ANC leader Mathews Phosa says.
“Any citizen who wrongs his people should fall on their own sword and take responsibility and not find excuses,” Phosa told reporters at the #IAmConstitution debate at Constitutional Hill in Braamfontein, Johannesburg on Tuesday night.
“I think there is a heavy responsibility on him to say ‘I read the signals, I am not going to explain myself away, the country is running under very heavy stress. I need to say goodbye to you, thank you for having trusted me’.
“I love him, I respect him, we will all respect him even more if he did that and said he didn’t think for himself, he thought for all of us,” Phosa said.
On the eve of April 27, commonly referred to as Freedom Day, the day when South Africa held its first democratic elections in 1994, Phosa emphasised the need for all South Africans to respect the Constitution.
“We should all, not only the president, respect the Constitution and see it as the supreme law of the country, as the first document which we regard as our social contract,” Phosa said.
“The Constitution binds us, it doesn’t matter who or what your rank is in society.”
Phosa joined a growing number of calls for the ANC to remove Zuma since the Constitutional Court ruled on 31 March that he had failed to uphold, defend, and respect the Constitution by not complying with Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s remedial action regarding payment for the non-security upgrades to his private Nkandla home.
The court had also ruled that the National Assembly failed to uphold the Constitution when it set aside Madonsela’s report on the matter.
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