Letter to President Zuma from the Quakers of Southern Africa

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Quakers of Southern Africa

(Religious Society of Friends)

31 March 2017

President Zuma,

We, the Quakers of Southern Africa (Religious Society of Friends), mourn the decline of our democracy under your watch, and your disregard for our Constitution on which it is founded.

As Quakers we believe ‘there is that of God in everyone’, and we call on you to examine your conscience, and step down from your office for the following reasons:

Under your presidency we have seen corruption and manipulation of public office become a way of government, with vast sums of public money being redirected into private pockets.

We have observed with dismay how the delivery of the social grant system has been jeopardised through an unlawful and exploitative contract, threatening the livelihood of millions of our fellow impoverished people, while you stood by and failed to act against the recklessness and incompetence of the Minister you appointed.

We have seen the Gupta family grow rich on irregular deals with Eskom – deals made with the cooperation of the Ministry of Energy Affairs, led by a Minister appointed by you; deals that hamper renewable energy development in our country.

We have watched with profound embarrassment as you, our President, have attempted to avoid responsibility on issues such as the upgrades to your private residence at Nkandla, and the 782 corruption charges against you; and have abused your position to evade accountability for your actions by postponing court appearances.

We have listened with growing anger to your attempts to vilify and sabotage public officials and Ministers of probity and integrity, such as Thuli Madonsela and Pravin Gordhan.

In the firing of Pravin Gordhan and Mcebisi Jonas we see the latest example of irresponsible action which will damage the country’s economy and have severe consequences for us all, especially for poor people.

It is frighteningly clear that you no longer value or care to protect the South African Constitution, our democracy, or the future of those who dwell in this country.

In the interests of the Quaker tenets we hold dear: peace, equality, truth, and simplicity, we call on you to have the grace to step down and make way for a leader who still holds to the values spelled out in our hard-won Constitution.

In peace and the service of truth,

Helen Holleman, John Inglis

Yearly Meeting Clerks

Quakers in Southern Africa