CAPE TOWN – A few hundred people gathered at the St George’s Cathedral in Cape Town on Wednesday, where the Save South Africa campaign gave civil society organisations and individuals a platform to talk about how they saw the state of the country.
On the eve of President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address (Sona) in Parliament, Save SA said it gave a voice to South Africans who it says felt neglected by the current government.
Founding member of the campaign, Lawson Naidoo, said: “We need to hold the president accountable for making empty promises.”
Lawson added: “Hearing today’s youth, South Africa has a bright future, so it is time we nurture our youth.”
There was also an opportunity for members of the public to write down what they thought should be addressed by Zuma during Sona on Thursday. Messages included: “Buy medicine for our people, not Nkandlas”, and “Stop the looting”.
The Sonke Gender Justice organisation called for an improvement in women’s rights, saying that women deserved to be on par with men in industry and the home, and called for Zuma to address the issue in his speech.
Convener for the Save SA committee, Sipho Pityana, read out a “Dear Zuma” plea in which he said: “You are not trusted by your own party or its allies. We have no confidence in your ability.”
He said it is time for Zuma to tell the nation what progress he had made since his last Sona.
“Look at the mess you have plunged our country into. How much land has been re-distributed during your presidency? Shouldn’t you be resigning?” asked Pityana.
“Comrades and friends, let tomorrow be the last Sona for Zuma, only then will South Africa be saved,” added Pityana.
As Pityana delivered his address in Cape Town yesterday, twitter responded with vigour. While there were retweets and votes of confidence, there was also very harsh criticism.
President Jacob Zuma is scheduled to deliver his 10th State of The Nation address in Parliament tomorrow, and the Save South Africa movement has used that as a mechanism for publicity to highlight what they call the biggest problem facing South Africa: Zuma.
However, while many were vocally in support of what was being said at the address, others accused Pityana of being part of desperate establishment attempting to maintain white domination of the South African economy.
Below are just some of the tweets that were shared.
Sipho Pityana is an ANC member by the way. He’s one of the very few swimming against the tide of corruption #SaveSA
— I Refuse To Adult (@Albatross_SA) February 8, 2017
There are enough good people for this country to not die. Thank you Sipho Pityana #SaveSA
— Avela Mabetshe® (@Av_mabetshe) February 8, 2017
The day #SaveSA holds a proper strike/demonstration in the sun they will achieved something, its always in the comfort of some building!
— 《《Major A》》 (@AndileLN) February 8, 2017
“Anything in South Africa is possible. You can even have 3 finance ministers in 4 days.”
— Khanya Msezeli (@msezeli_khanya) February 8, 2017
#SaveSA Pityana says President are you above the law, ex-ministers Dina Pule, Gwen Mahlangu Nkabinde and others fell on their swords
— KhayelihleKhumalo (@KhayaJames) February 8, 2017
— Ncamisile ★ Sibiya (@sibiya29) February 8, 2017
#PityanaTheAskari is an employee and shareholder of the Oppenheimer establishment. He speaks for white monopoly capital
— andile (@Mngxitama) February 8, 2017
— BLACK 1ST LAND 1ST (@Black1stLand1st) February 8, 2017
— TAZZMAN (@shailmatai) February 8, 2017
#PityanaTheAskari is a worried man. He has seen that since the emergence of the BRICS process the foothold of WMC in SA is no firm ground.
— IG: phurah_jack (@_Phurah) February 8, 2017
We must thank President Zuma for giving us a glimpse on how weak the WhiteEstablishment is without their barbaric government.Look at Pityana
— M||o (@MxolisiBob) February 8, 2017
Sipho Pityana and his reckless pronouncements was disowned by BUSA, BLSA and CEO initiative during the Luncheon with the President in CT.
— Mzwanele Manyi (@MzwaneleManyi) February 7, 2017
Then, during a media briefing members of the Save SA movement accused Zuma’s supporters of disrupting their press conference in Cape Town on Wednesday afternoon.
A video emerged from the twitter account of Lawson Naidoo referring to “Zuma’s informal troops” disrupting proceedings. This was retweeted by the Save SA twitter handle with the hashtag The
— Lawson Naidoo (@LawsonNaidoo) February 8, 2017
— Save South Africa (@_SaveSA) February 8, 2017
– African News Agency and Weekly Xposé Reporter