One SA Movement leader Mmusi Maimane says he is disappointed in President Cyril Ramaphosa following his remarks on Friday that former president Jacob Zuma should be given more time to reflect on his decision to defy the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) and the State Capture Commission.
Maimane said on Sunday Ramaphosa had the responsibility to ensure that the rule of law is upheld. He believes that the president is dodging his responsibility as the country’s first citizen.
“The remarks by the president are most disappointing. Citizens at this time want to know that any person who becomes the head of State will defend the Constitution and all its related laws. That’s the oath of office,” Maimane said in an interview with Newzroom Afrika.
Ramaphosa pleaded with his predecessor to reflect on his decision to rebel against the ConCourt’s order in January, compelling him to appear before the State Capture Commission.
He made the remarks to journalists outside the Soweto home of late struggle stalwart, Rebecca Kotane.
The president also said those calling for Zuma’s suspension from the ANC were being pre-emptive as the governing party was yet to discuss the matter.
“These are issues he must give consideration to in his own mind, in his own time, let us give former president Zuma time and space to think about this,” Ramaphosa said.
Maimane said he disagreed with the president’s approach to the matter.
“I don’t think there should be a debate as to when he [Zuma] would like to think about it or not.
“We must ensure that there is accountability because if we are creating situations where a situation that relates to the law must be politically managed, then it means any citizen should be able to negotiate politically anything that is an infringement against the law,” he said.
“I think President Ramaphosa is dodging responsibility. He has the responsibility as an elected representative of our country to be the first one to say, ‘let us uphold the rule of law in our country’. If he can’t do that, then I fail to understand why should we have him as head of State because if he can’t protect the related laws of our republic, then who will?”
The One SA Movement leader said it was clear that Ramaphosa is not in control of his party. He said South Africa needs fresh new leadership that will put the interests of all citizens above those of political parties.
“It’s clear that he fundamentally believes that his tenure is dependent on the peace in the ANC, rather than leading South Africa. Secondly, he’s clear that he doesn’t hold the power within his own party. And thirdly, he’s not accountable to the people.”
Watch the interview below, courtesy of Newzroom Afrika.