Lobby group Save South Africa has urged ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa to be transparent about the talks being held around the future of Jacob Zuma.
“We urge the ANC President to step up‚ to engage openly and robustly with the issue of Zuma’s departure‚ and to stop being sucked into the illicit world that Zuma and his cronies thrive in‚” Save South Africa said in a statement issued on Wednesday night.
Ramaphosa had earlier released a statement to reassure South Africans that the matter of Zuma’s future was being dealt with. But Save South Africa was not placated.
“Mr Ramaphosa appears to have fallen into the trap of embarking on confidential negotiations with a President who is clearly unwanted by the people of South Africa (including the vast majority in his own party)‚ and who thrives on backdoor deals and covert arrangements‚” it said.
“Shuffling Zuma out of the backdoor‚ with any number of trade-offs and compromises‚ is not only bad for Mr Ramaphosa – it is bad for South Africa.”
The organisation‚ which has repeatedly called on Zuma to step down as president‚ accused the ANC of abusing its power. It said postponing the State of the Nation Address (Sona) was clearly designed to deal with internal party issues.
“Parliament’s presiding officers provide flimsy excuses to deny a legitimate request by the opposition parties for a debate of a motion of no confidence prior to Sona‚” Save South Africa said.
“When the ANC fails to persuade Mr Zuma to leave on time for a new and more credible President to deliver this address‚ the presiding officers‚ on the unbelievable pretext of avoiding threatened protests‚ decide to cancel the Sona.”
Zuma was due to deliver the State of the Nation Address on Thursday but it was postponed on Tuesday. A special meeting of the ANC national executive committee on Wednesday was also cancelled. The meeting was meant to discuss a proposal to recall Zuma‚ who had rejected an earlier request for his resignation by the ANC top six leadership.
“If this conduct is not blatant abuse of power‚ it is hard to imagine how else to describe it‚” Save South Africa said.
“South Africans must reject this behaviour with the contempt it deserves.”