3 former South African leaders join to criticize Zuma

There was consensus on the economy of the country being one of the key topics which South Africans needed to debate.

Former Presidents F.W.de Klerk, Thabo Mbeki, Kgalema Motlanthe and former Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka led by their foundations joined four others to partake in the maiden National Foundations Dialogue Initiative.

Issues, including political governance, the Constitution, the state of the economy and national cohesion, will be discussed in a national dialogue meant to bring all South Africans together. They said they were opposed to De Klerk's involvement in the dialogue.

De Klerk says President Jacob Zuma has failed to uphold the Constitution.

"Surely all of us will agree that there can never be any person or institution in the new South Africa whose actions will be more authoritative or supreme than the voice of the people", said Mbeki.

"So it is that the rose our people planted, as represented by the victory of 1994, is indeed sick", Mbeki added, referring to the year that marked the end of apartheid.

This was corroborated by Motlanthe who said the country's democracy is under a critical condition and needs enhancement.

Mlambo-Ngcuka, who called for "introspection and correctional action", said the country is in need of "a leadership that can help us restore the values that we have been losing".

A court on Thursday ordered the president to explain the finance minister's firing.

The members were holding placards written "FW de Klerk is a killer", protesting against the inclusion of the former president in the dialogue.

"By recognising De Klerk, Mbeki and Motlanthe made a mistake that will lead to white racists thinking they still have a place in SA", he said.

  • Leroy Wright