Former finance minister Trevor Manuel highly criticised politicians who have no respect for the constitution, in his keynote address at the Kader Asmal Memorial Lecture at the University of Cape Town on Saturday.
The former finance minister called on ANC leaders to rebuild the African National Congress (ANC) and reject the one that “exists to protect one person who happens to be serial wrongdoer”.
He said there was a problem with “unchecked” power vested in individuals, just like Russia President Vladimir Putin, further calling on ANC leaders to “own” the constitution, the “only thing that holds us together”.
In his address, Manuel said President Jacob Zuma’s statement that he was not afraid of going to jail showed he had “misplaced values”. He further reminded people of the meeting he had with ANC general-secretary Gwede Mantashe in which they disagreed over Nkandla. Manuel was calling for the president to pay for the non-security upgrades.
He revealed that Mantashe had accused him of being a “free agent”, and in his response to him, he told Mantashe that he was “no Irvin Khoza”. He does not own the ruling party, he said.
The only solution to some of the problems facing the ANC, according to Manuel, is for the leaders to own a copy of the constitution. “We might have to say it is an intelligence report,” he told the audience.
Watch his address below:
Perhaps if they read it, they would stop violating it. Manuel was referring to the Constitutional Court’s ruling against the president last year saying he must pay for the non-security upgrades in his Nkandla homestead.
He was also referring to the so-called intelligence report that the president allegedly used to fire former finance minister Pravin Gordhan.
On Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, who has been campaigning for presidency, Manuel said ANC veteran Kader Asmal nominated Ramaphosa for president as he thought “he would have been better than Zuma”. However, Ramaphosa allegedly declined the nominated, leaving Asmal saying “he doesn’t have the balls”.
Watch the video below:
— SABC News (@SABCNews) May 7, 2017