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Religious leaders: Zuma must go ‘for sake of SA’

  • Zuma must goHOME
Zuma “lost the moral legitimacy to govern this country,” Chief Rabbi (pictured Friday) tells media conference after NRLC & SACC - whom, he says, speak for upwards of 80% of South Africans. In the meeting, Goldstein told ANC that Zuma “is too busy fighting corruption allegations to govern”. He had also told them: “One day those in the ANC are all going to account to G-d for their actions. There is so much poverty and human suffering around us.” WATCH VIDEO OF THE CHIEF RABBI ADDRESSING THE MEDIA…
by ANT KATZ | Apr 12, 2016

The full media briefing - the Chief Rabbi speaks between seven and 10
minutes into the video and runs out at the end to prepare for Shabbos

President Jacob Zuma has “lost the moral legitimacy to govern this country”, Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein told a media conference last week Friday after the National Religious Leaders Council (NRLC) and the SA Council of Churches (SACC) had met with the country's ruling African National Congress (ANC) and urged them to compel Zuma to resign.

Zuma must goThis followed the Constitutional Court's adverse finding against Zuma on the Nkandla matter - and an apology by the President which the religious leaders were not prepared to accept.

RIGHT: Screen-pull of Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein at the media conference after meeting the ANC last Friday 

Earlier in the week the religious leadership had called for a meeting with the “Top Six” ANC officials. Three of them were in attendance, said Rabbi Goldstein: ANC Secretary-General, Gwede Mantashe; his deputy, Jessie Duarte; and treasurer, Zweli Mkhize. Minister Lindiwe Zulu and other senior (and less-senior) party officials were also present, says Rabbi Goldstein.

In preparation for what pundits say was the most historic intervention in SA politics by religious leaders in recent times, the SACC and NRLC held a joint preparatory meeting early on Friday to produce a joint presentation.

The religious leaders did not mince their words. Rabbi Goldstein told the media after the meeting that the religious leaders had informed the ANC that they were calling for Zuma’s resignation. It was their plea, said Rabbi Goldstein, that Zuma “put the good of the country before anything else”.

In an interview with Jewish Report, Rabbi Goldstein, an executive member of the NRLC, said he had been pleasantly surprised at the seriousness that the ANC had afforded the request for an urgent meeting with the joint delegation. They met for over three hours, ending at 13:15.

“We need a president and we don’t have a president right now. The president we have doesn’t have the moral authority to govern after the Constitutional Court’s devastating decision and the allegations about the Gupta family’s control of Cabinet appointments,” the Chief Rabbi told SAJR.

Zuma must goFULL

ABOVE: Some of the top religious leaders briefing the media last Friday afternoon after the meeting with the ANC ledership

The Chief Rabbi said the religious leadership told the ANC unambiguously that their plea had been in the name of “the people we represent.These are not our personal opinions alone. We are speaking on behalf of a wide spectrum of faith communities in South Africa, which represents easily, if not upwards of 80 per cent” of all South Africans.

Behind the closed doors of the meeting, says Rabbi Goldstein, “the ANC leaders were open and gave us the reasons why they had decided not to remove the president. Gwede Mantashe spoke about how much the ANC was hurting.”

Zuma must go graphicRabbi Goldstein also noted that the party “were not defensive”, which the delegation had expected them to be".

RIGHT: Rabbi Warren Goldstein & Pastor Ray McCauley at the media conference last week Friday after meeting the ANC top brass.

Rabbi Goldstein also told the ANC delegates that Zuma “is too busy fighting corruption allegations to govern”. He had also told them: “One day those in the ANC are all going to account to G-d for their actions. There is so much poverty and human suffering around us.”

Towards the end of the meeting, says Rabbi Goldstein, Mantashe said that he really felt that the religious leaders “should convey their message directly to the president”. It is that meeting that is expected to take place this week.

The call for Zuma’s resignation was a request from the members of their various faiths, he told journalists.

 That was why the religious leaders had “felt it our duty, before G-d” to request to meet the ANC’s “Top Six” officials and to go out and share their views; it is really for the good of the country.

An African News Agency (ANA) report last week Friday referred to SACC General Secretary Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana, saying that the faith-based community could not sit and do nothing when the country was imploding, and they had to ask Zuma to think about the implications of his continued stay in high office.

Zuma must go graphic“We requested the ANC leadership to assist Zuma to resign.


"We also requested a one-on-one meeting with the President. We would like him to think about his continued stay in the office,” Mpumlwana said during the media briefing.

The week before last, the Constitutional Court had delivered a damning ruling in which it declared that Zuma had failed to “uphold, defend and respect the Constitution” in relation to his private Nkandla residence. A day later, Zuma apologised to the nation on national television.

But the SACC and NRLC said they were “not prepared to accept the apology” offered by Zuma and called for him to be recalled. They then requested to meet the “Top Six”.

“Zuma did not apologise for Nkandla. He only apologised for frustration and confusion. We cannot accept his apology because we are not confused,” said the Methodist Church's Bishop Ziphozihle Siwa. The religious leaders emphasised that their focus was not a legal one but a moral call.

The religious leadership said that while the ANC members present “were not able to respond directly, they acknowledged that they heard the call”, they told the media briefing. “We [said] the ANC leadership must assist his [Zuma's] resignation. He must resign, he must not be seen as forced to resign."

Calls for the President’s head have also come from opposition parties; civil society; some ANC members; and even ANC party veterans.


  1. 4 Levi 12 Apr
    Easy to be bold when the whole country is saying the same thing. It would have been bold and brave to call for his resignation when it wasn't so popular to do so. Big deal.
  2. 3 nat cheiman 12 Apr
    With Zuma, the ANC need to go, also.
  3. 2 NDLOVU ZUMA 15 Apr
  4. 1 nat cheiman 27 Apr
    Ndlovu. I take it you are self employed or a government stooge. If not you then are either unemployed or employed by a white. You dont know if he is Jewish/ catholic/ hindu or protestant. So why open your mouth about Jews or any religion? Government relies on taxes from whites/ Jews/ and all other religions. 
    You Mr Zuma are devoid of any intelligence just like your namesake and it is people like you that find Rhodesia/Zimbawe a lovely place to live where everyone is free. You probably amount to nothing, in the scheme of things but collectively, people like you are the reason why Jacob Zuma and Mugabe exist and flourish. They are your leaders and you do not seem to have the wisdom to realise that they take from the poor and dont care about the electorate.
    You are desolate in your thinking because it is apparent you hate Jews. 


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