Cape Town — President Jacob Zuma was a lame duck and had lost the moral authority to lead the fight against corruption, Congress of the People (COPE) parliamentary leader Mvume Dandala said yesterday in a call on all South Africans to stand up against corruption.
COPE's call comes in the wake of news of Zuma's late disclosure of his financial interests to Parliament. Dandala noted a previous failure by Zuma to disclose his financial interests when he was deputy president and an MP in 2003.
He stressed that COPE was not calling for protests along the lines of service-delivery protests but for a conscious, collective decision by the people of SA to rid society of corruption. Only then would the government take the people seriously.
"Corruption is threatening to take SA in the same direction as many other countries on the continent. As the fight for scarce resources intensifies, internecine conflicts will arise and intensify. Social cohesion will be shattered.
"At this juncture in our history it is clear that public investment is being routed into capital projects where bribes and kickbacks are on offer to individuals with the right political alignment and where handsome returns are available to the party itself," Dandala said. This was causing distortions in the economy as money was diverted to personal enrichment.
Dandala said COPE fully intended to proceed with its vote of no-confidence in Zuma on the floor of the National Assembly and had asked for a date for such a debate.
Most opposition notices of motion in the house are never debated and simply sink to the bottom of the order paper. Dandala said if the no- confidence motion route did not materialise, COPE would use a substantive motion to the house.
The basis of the no-confidence motion was "on account of (Zuma's) serial infidelities, his broken promises, his loss of moral authority".