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#FreedomMovement unites Zuma foes

The Zuma Era
Johannesburg – Leaders of civil society, political parties, labour unions and religious organisations have joined to launch the Freedom Movement, a new organisation aiming to remove President Jacob Zuma from office.

Members launched the movement at the Hector Pieterson Museum in Soweto on Thursday and will rally at Freedom Park in Pretoria next week on Freedom Day, April 27.

The conference that launched the movement included party leaders from the United Democratic Movement (UDM) and the DA.

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United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa (second from right) and leaders of civil society, political parties, labour unions and religious organisations joined together to launch the Freedom Movement at the Hector Pieterson Museum in Soweto. Picture: Itumeleng English

UDM MP Bantu Holomisa said other political parties, including the EFF, IFP, ACDP, and Cope, had met with Freedom Movement leaders but had not yet committed to offering financial support.

With regard to “protest fatigue”, political analyst Prince Mashele argued that the citizens of South Africa couldn't afford to pause their protests. “When citizens get tired, rogue leaders do not get tired,” he said.

“When Zimbabweans got tired, Mugabe did not. We will never get tired because if we do, Zuma will destroy this country.”

Mashele also noted that the movement received the support of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, and read from his statement.

“In principle, Aunt Leah and I are in support of a united coalition calling on all South Africans to join the event on April 27,” Tutu said.

“It is important that we unite as South Africans to bring an end to state capture and that we further the values of our democratic society by speaking out against any and all kinds of injustice in our society. Let’s work together in the interest of a better life for all our people.”

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa told Independent Media he didn’t think the protests in Pretoria next week would be particularly different from previous ones, but he hoped a cohesive, consistent message of unity would set the rally apart.

The Federation of Unions of South Africa’s (Fedusa) Dennis George discussed how South Africa’s international economic image has been negatively impacted by recent political changes.

“When we went to London, we wanted to show investors the progress we’re making, but Pravin Gordhan got an SMS from the president to return,” George said. “It demonstrated to everyone that we’re not credible or competent.”

George added that Fedusa suspended participation in Team South Africa after it found it impossible to show investors the economic potential of South Africa.

“Wherever we go, the elephant in the room is Zuma,” he said.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane said that when the president had blatantly violated the constitution, it’s unfathomable to allow that person to remain head of state.

Holomisa said the onus to remove Zuma was on the ANC. He thought Zuma would step down if asked to do so by his party.

“If the ANC doesn’t take the opportunity of the vote of no confidence to remove him, our strategy will have to change,” Holomisa said. “We’ll have to make sure the ANC is banished in 2019."

The Star

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