You can add one more to the list of ANC stalwarts who have gone public and called for Zuma’s resignation. Former ANC Deputy Secretary General Cheryl Carolus has come forward and asked that Zuma step down. In May 1990, Carolus was elected to be part of the African National Congress’ delegation which held talks with the apartheid government and in July 1991, she was elected to the ANC’s National Executive Committee.
Here’s the letter from Carolus.
“Dear Comrade President
I never thought I would ever find myself having to publicly call for my President to step aside.
I never thought my President would become embroiled in actions that require of him to publicly say what he had done was wrong and that he would have to apologise.
I never thought my President would only do this after dragging the country through the trauma of wasted time, money and reputation at taxpayers’ expense, before he arrived at the decision to acknowledge failure and apologise.
I never thought I would have to wait for a court of law to tell my President, my organisation and members like myself what is right and what is wrong.
I never thought I would see the sanctity and the dignity of Parliament become so eroded, with members of my organisation trying to compete for the worst behaviour.
I never thought I would find good, decent people like myself and many of my comrades in leadership speaking at one another, at our members and at the people at large in such threatening terms, demanding that they respect us and that they do so by keeping quiet at a time when we have had to admit we have wronged.
Every time one of these boundaries has been crossed, we have lost a piece of who we are.
There was a time in the history of our country where even our avowed political enemies could not take us on on any matter in the public domain.
There was a time when we inspired even our detractors to do what was right and to unite for the sake of our country.
There was a time when we, as the ANC, mobilised our members, the country and, indeed, the world on the basis of our hopes rather than our fears.
That was the time when we in the ANC were unambiguous in our definitions about morality.
Those were the days when we called spades spades, not gardening implements, and we called swimming pools swimming pools.
How did we get to this sad point?
I use the analogy of a frog in a pot, with a tiny candle flame below it. My appeal is that we recognise we will be cooked before it is too late to jump out back into a clean river, where we will not only survive but thrive.
You may well assert that the ANC is strong and not at risk. I wish to differ. It is about how we measure our strength and how we see ourselves retaining it.
It is not just about how many people vote for us today. It is much more about the basis on which we mobilise to get those votes.
And it is about how, when we win the vote, even those who did not vote for us can be inspired to be led by us.
It is about how we inspire all of our people to support our call for nonracialism, not about how we ask black people to stand up against white people.
It is about taking pride in young people who succeed in life against all odds, and who know that their success was only possible because of the democracy we fought for and won.
It is about continuing to inspire them to be part of the ongoing battles to transform our country. It is about celebrating “clever blacks”.
It is not about asking some of our people to stand up against “clever blacks” as if those we are appealing to are proudly “stupid blacks”.
Comrade President, we need to remind ourselves of what a loyal cadre is. There was a time when loyal cadres would speak out and provide good advice to their leaders; when they would never allow their leaders to even end up in a situation of public censure.
Loyalty was measured by the ability to provide sound ethical advice and censure where necessary; not blindly agreeing or, worse, having to defend the actions of leaders after they did wrong.
How did we end up defending the indefensible? How did decent comrades end up having to publicly justify your actions, only to be ditched by you? And this is not the first time.
On other occasions when you had to publicly admit wrongdoing and apologise, you have blamed others for having misled you. In the rape trial, you resorted to the stereotypically sexist defence of a temptress in a miniskirt begging you to have sex with her.
In the Nkandla matter, it is your legal advisers and Cabinet who now have to take the blame.
With respect, Comrade President, regardless of your definitions of rape – and the courts have spoken on the legalities – you knew it was wrong to even contemplate sex with someone you cradled as a child when she was in a nappy.
I can say without equivocation that Comrades OR, Sisulu or Mandela would never have thought of this with any of our daughters.
Similarly, you do not need legal advisers to tell you it is wrong to use taxpayers’ money for your personal residence.
Nor do you need legal advisers to tell you to get decent cadres to reduce themselves to ridicule to explain the work done at your private residence.
Today, you have ditched them and you are claiming they let you down.
Not a word of apology to the ministers who had to stand in front of the public. Instead, they now have to face the legal consequences. I know them all. I know their reputations. I am sad that they are let down after being used by you.
Comrade President, no one can ever take away your contribution to what we are as a nation today. You have been a living example to every poor child in the world of how, through determination and fearlessness in taking on injustice, you can rise to greatness for yourself and your people.
Your personal bravery in the liberation struggle, your leadership to myself through the dangerous days of transition, your leadership to end the cruel denial of antiretroviral treatment to millions should remain inscribed in our history books.
How do you become embroiled in, at best, so much ambiguity and, at worst, such scandal?
I ask you to please step aside and allow our movement to return to the task at hand. Please allow our elected leadership to become synonymous again with morality and a pro-poor agenda.
I say this not because I fear our political opponents will get the better of us. I say this because for me, being a proud, loyal cadre of the ANC and a patriotic South African means being able to articulate in public what we believe in.
I say this because I have no doubt of the support and love of our people for our organisation.
I have no doubt that the public continues to support our drive to eliminate poverty and inequality, and will again give us their vote.
That is why I believe our people deserve better. They deserve a leader who does not lie. They do not need to fear about the relationship between their daughters and their leaders.
They do not need a leader who will let good men and women bear the devastating consequences of their private wrongdoings.
Comrade President, please do not abdicate your responsibility by asking the branches to decide. You have admitted that you are wrong. Please do the honourable thing this time.
Do not do to our branches what you have done to our comrades in Cabinet and in Parliament. Good leaders lead from the front.
Mr President, please step aside, and let the good women and men of my organisation lead us for the right reasons again.”
[via City Press]