File photo: The Anglican Church on Sunday added its voice to calls for President Jacob Zuma to resign. Picture: Michael Walker

Cape Town – The Anglican Church on Sunday added its voice to calls for President Jacob Zuma to resign and urged organised protest action against Zuma’s much criticised cabinet reshuffle which included the firing of highly respected finance minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas.

In a statement by the Diocese of George in the southern Cape, Bishop Brian Marajh also called on all ANC councillors in the different towns of the diocese to declare their stance on Zuma’s action.

“It is with a profound sense of sadness and disappointment that we note the reshuffle of the cabinet by the president of the republic and the axing of the minister of finance and his deputy among others. The president’s claim of a breach of confidence in and breakdown of trust [in the] relationship between himself and the minister of finance, informed by a seriously flawed intelligence report, represents a serious undermining of the principle of the law,” Marajh said.

“The president’s claim that the decision was taken to improve effectiveness and efficiency is a flagrant lie and is proof that he is pursuing his own personal narrow interest at the expense of the poor and most vulnerable of this country.”

It was evident that the reshuffle was targeting the National Treasury and that it would impact on its critical functions and those of other organisations in the financial cluster, such as the South African Revenue Service, the South African Reserve Bank, and other financial banking regulatory institutions.

“We as a collective call on all councillors of the [ANC] in the different towns of our diocese to explain their stance on the president’s action as representatives of the dreams and aspirations of the people and how they intend to forge and display unity of purpose on this divisive issue.

“It has become evident that change and renewal will not come from within the [ANC] captured by the president and his corrupt business cronies,” Marajh said.

The diocese’s leaders called on church members “to make known their dissatisfaction with this state of affairs through organised protest action with other partners in the faith community, non-governmental organisations, and other organs of civil society and to reject the president’s establishment of a ruling cabal”.

In statement from the Diocese of Saldanha Bay, Bishop Raphael Hess endorsed last year’s call by the late ANC stalwart Ahmed Kathrada for Zuma to resign.

“The Anglican Diocese of Saldhanha Bay says an emphatic ‘No’ to your [Zuma] continuous disruption to our social and economic stability. We say ‘No’ to you, president, to your corruption and the endless avarice among your friends,” Hess said.

“We say ‘No’ to you, Mr President, and we say ‘Yes’ to the cry so passionately articulated by the late great son of the soil Ahmed Kathrada when he asked you to step aside and resign to allow those who carry the hopes of our people to lead,” the bishop said.