June 28, 2017

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SOUTH AFRICA: President Zuma’s Resignation not Solution to Country’s Problems

CAPE TOWN APRIL 7, 2017 (CISA) – The Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) has said that all the country’s problems such as corruption will not be solved by the resignation of President Jacob Zuma.

“While we note and respect the calls for the resignation of the president, such a step would not in itself be a complete solution, as corruption at every level must be rooted out,” Archbishop Stephen Brislin, SACBC President said in a statement on April 3.

“In this regard, the leadership of the ANC must make serious and strenuous efforts to end corruption and patronage at all levels of governance,” said Archbishop Brislin of Cape Town.

The bishops’ statement comes in the wake of recent re-shuffle of the cabinet and the resultant anger from some quarters.

Archbishop Brislin said that it appears President Zuma has lost the confidence of many of his own closest colleagues, as well as that of numerous civil society organizations and thus “should earnestly reconsider his position, and not be afraid to act with courage and humility in the nation’s best interests.”

The Archbishop said that in the present state of anxiety and uncertainty it is of “utmost importance” that parliament be reconvened urgently in order for the members of parliament to debate the events of the past week and to exercise their duty of holding the Executive arm of the government to account.

“We hope that members of parliament will be guided by the welfare of our country and its people, and not by narrow loyalties or factional interests,” said Archbishop Brislin.

The Archbishop further acknowledged the various protest marches that have been planned in cities across South Africa calling for the removal of President Jacob Zuma saying it is essential for people to make their voices heard but that those doing so should also respect other people’s rights.

“It is a democratic right to participate in legal, orderly and peaceful marches, and those who wish to express their concern and anger in this way are fully entitled to do so. The economy and education are both vulnerable at this time and we urge workers and students not to do anything that would further harm the economy or weaken the culture of learning.”

On April 7, Archbishop Desmond Tutu also joined protests calling for President Jacob Zuma to step down.

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate and anti-apartheid campaigner was pictured with his wife outside the Cape Town retirement home they are staying in, BBC News reported.

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