Corruption Watch greets President Jacob Zuma’s resignation with a mixture of joy and relief, and anger and resentment. Joy and relief because a critical obstacle in the way of renewing South Africa’s democracy has been removed; anger and resentment at the public resources that have been looted and the key institutions that have been crippled and that must be rebuilt.
“If we are to prevent this happening again, it is important that we understand how this monumental heist of a democratic society and a large complex economy happened,” said executive director, David Lewis. “Many of the answers will be complex but of this we can be sure: the removal of Jacob Zuma is a victory of the people of South Africa, mobilised by civil society organisations, informed by the media and supported by the courts and the constitution. In the absence of these combined forces, South Africa would have been destroyed.”
The organisation reminds all South Africans that now is not the time for these forces to relax. It is important to remember that any government is only as good as its people are vigilant and demanding.
Corruption Watch expects the new president of the country to recognise this, encourage support for civil society, and endorse the independence of the courts and the media.
“Just as these forces removed Zuma, so too must they lead the process of reconstruction and the continuing battle for social justice,” said Lewis.
Kate Muwoki, Regional Advisor for Southern Africa at Transparency International, added: “There should be no amnesty or immunity for Zuma. Corruption has been allowed to flourish to the point of crippling state institutions and Zuma must still face the 783 criminal counts awaiting him before the courts.”
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