Kathrada Foundation, Save SA call on ANC to elect a president with integrity

A candidate with integrity is the preference of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation and civil society organisation Save South Africa to become the next ANC president.

Neeshan Bolton, director of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, and Sipho Pityana, ANC veteran and Save South Africa convener, spoke at a press briefing on Monday where they highlighted plans for a civil society conference to be held on Tuesday. The two organizations have called on President Jacob Zuma to step down.

Pityana has previously endorsed ANC MP Makhosi Khoza to become leader of the party.

“I support the position that it’s time to have a woman president. I am a big champion of gender equality,” he is quoted as saying last week at an event in Johannesburg.

“But my candidate is somebody else. My candidate is a young, woman parliamentarian.”

Pityana was speaking in his personal capacity, but the view of Save South Africa is similar to that of the Kathrada Foundation — may the person with the most integrity become leader.

Bolton said that the Kathrada Foundation has no role in internal ANC issues — such as the elective conference in December 2017 — but it would continue to engage with all political parties on issues of significance in the country.

“We have no preference (for ANC candidate), other than the person with the highest integrity,” Bolton said.

Pityana did, however, make special mention of Khoza again on Monday saying that her nomination to be a candidate for ANC presidency had gone largely unnoticed. Deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa and former African Union chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who was married to President Zuma, have dominated the ANC’s presidential race as front runners. Over the weekend, Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu confirmed that she had accepted nominations from ANC branches to run for party president.

Khoza has made headlines in recent weeks for her outspoken defiance against the Zuma faction in the ANC and her support for a secret ballot vote in the motion of no confidence in Zuma in Parliament. Over the weekend, Khoza posted screenshots from an SMS chat conversation to Facebook where she was told she had less than a month to live.

The death threats against her have been linked to Gupta-associated Black First Land First in a report by the Daily Maverick, but the group denies they sent the messages.

Khoza will appear at the civil society conference hosted tomorrow by Save South Africa and the Kathrada Foundation. Pityana said that the conference could signal a “second wave of mass mobilisation” since anti-apartheid protests.

The group expects around 100 civil society organizations to gather to discuss a plan of action for the future of South Africa. The Gupta email leaks, a judicial inquiry into state capture, and the strength and independence of state-owned entities and public institutions will be topics of interest.

The main objective of the conference is to develop an action plan to rally support around the motion of no confidence vote against Zuma on August 8.

“We are calling it #OperationRecapture. The primary objective is to recapture the state,” Bolton said. 

Raeesa Pather
Raeesa Pather
Ra’eesa Pather is a Cape Town-based general news and features journalist.
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