Although President Jacob Zuma has rights, his duty to all South Africans takes precedence, struggle veteran Denis Goldberg has said.
“If he wants to fight his individual rights on very flimsy legal grounds, then he needs to resign. He needs to stand aside and say this would be a conflict of interest if I remain as President when I need to look after Mr Zuma,” Goldberg told News24.
He was referring to Zuma’s application to stop the release of former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s “state capture” report, and his bid to avoid standing trial on corruption charges.
In October, the Supreme Court of Appeal said Zuma’s lawyers needed to argue his application for leave to appeal Pretoria High Court ruling that he should face 783 corruption charges which were dropped in 2009.
Goldberg said he was against those who insulted Zuma and called him stupid. He referred to him as a once-brave comrade.
He was speaking at Liliesleaf Farm in Rivonia, where he and several other anti-apartheid activists were arrested on July 11 1963. On June 12 1964 he and seven others, including Nelson Mandela, were sentenced to life in jail.
Goldberg has called for Zuma and the ANC’s top six officials to step down.
“I am not looking for revenge, but a way forward.”
He hoped Zuma’s successor would give him a presidential pardon, to allow him to enjoy his retirement in peace.
“I want to respect your [Zuma’s] past role, so I am asking you to resign, withdraw, to allow us to move on to achieve what you too fought for.”
He was hopeful that the ANC could recover its support if Zuma walked away.