Save South Africa leader and businessman Sipho Pityana warned in Port Elizabeth last night that if President Jacob Zuma is allowed to give his state of the nation address in February, the movement will give the nation the “true state of the nation”.
Pityana was speaking at a packed Nangoza Jebe Hall in New Brighton, where the Save SA campaign was holding the first of a series of meetings aimed at mobilising people for the call for Zuma to go.
“If Zuma is allowed to give his state of the nation address in February, we will be there to make sure the people’s true state of the nation is heard,” Pityana said.
“We cannot listen to the litany of promises he makes.”
With every point he made, many in the 2 000-strong audience shouted, “Yes, yes, he must go now”. Among those present were residents, businessmen, religious leaders and politicians.
EFF and DA councillors, including mayor Athol Trollip, as well as ANC veterans also attended.
Pityana said as numerous calls for Zuma to step down had failed up to now, the masses would give their own motion of no confidence next week by mass action.
“On November 23, we will launch a people’s motion of no confidence against Zuma,” he said to cheers from the audience.
“They [ANC] say we must wait, 2017 is not far. But Zuma must go now.” Pityana, an ANC veteran originally from Uitenhage, has been vocal about Zuma’s leadership.
“We call on Zuma to step down,” he said.
“He is not one of us. He is an unrecognisable species. “He is a criminal awaiting trial. “Other criminals await [trial] in jail while Zuma is waiting comfortably at the Union Buildings.
“We cannot have a president who has no dignity,” Pityana said.
“The dignity so bestowed by those who fought apartheid is being ripped away by this criminal enterprise.”
He said many countries like Malaysia, Brazil and Iraq had led successful movements holding their leaders accountable. “Why can’t we do that in SA? “The masses have the power. This struggle has to be carried by me and you.
“When you wear the #SaveSA T-shirts where Zuma speaks, he will know that he must go,” Pityana said.
When one member of the audience questioned the effectiveness of the campaign, Pityana responded: “All these mass actions and mobilising people will yield results and eventually Zuma will step down.
“We must not look only at removing him, we must look beyond to saving South Africa for our children.”