The Nelson Mandela Foundation has released a statement calling for a change in leadership – to put South Africa in more capable hands after president Jacob Zuma “failed the test”.
According to the group, the ‘wheels are coming off’ the country, as the executive moves from one high profile failure to the next – highlighting in particular a Constitutional Court ruling against Zuma, for abusing state funds on his Nkandla home.
“The ability and commitment of the Head of State to be a ‘constitutional being’, is one of the wheels of our state…As this particular wheel rolls away, other critical institutions of state break off to follow it.
“The legislative, business, and public service sectors of the country are severely affected, compromising the ability of the state to serve the people,” the foundation said.
It also referred to the “battle now raging” to keep SARS attached to the vehicle of state, while the issue of ‘state capture’ by private and political interests is also a major threat to the country.
“Another wheel is an accessible and well-functioning education system. Arguably this wheel has never been fully attached, but the failures of the last two decades threaten that it rolls away.”
The foundation said that it has seen a weakening of critical institutions such as SARS, the NPA and law enforcement bodies due to political meddling for private interests.
“We are reaping the results of a political trend of personalising matters of state around a single individual leader. This in a constitutional democracy is to be deplored,” it said.
“We call on the governing party to take the steps necessary to ensure that the vehicle of state be protected and placed in safe and capable hands.”