South Africa is experiencing the kind of corruption no one would have thought possible under the leadership of the father of our Constitution. While thousands perish because of a ruthless pandemic, a small clique of politically connected tenderpreneurs has become fabulously wealthy. It is time for civil society to mobilise.

“Zuma must fall, Zuma must fall… Zuma must fall, Zuma must fall.”

Nothing demonstrated the spirit of the post-Pravin Gordhan axing by former president Jacob Zuma in 2017 more than a video clip of three elderly white women chanting the #ZumaMustFall mantra on top of a bridge somewhere in South Africa. The clip went viral and was played again and again by those seeking comic relief from a truly serious crisis.

There is no doubt that Zuma’s decision to relieve Gordhan of his position of finance minister, in order to deliver the state to the Guptas, triggered a national backlash that led to his fall the following year. The national outrage at a corrupt and captured president firing a highly respected minister in charge of the national fiscus sparked an unprecedented level of civil society mobilisation under the banner of #SaveSouthAfrica.

Not since the advent of democracy had civil society…



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