The Congress of the People (COPE) has welcomed what it calls the “long overdue” resignation of Deputy Minister of Higher Education Mduduzi Manana.
“However‚ we view his resignation not as a show or genuine remorse on his part or because of action by Jacob Zuma. It is the result of unrelenting and growing wave of public pressure against his continued holding of public office. He was forced to fall on his sword‚” the party said on Saturday.
It warned that “the likes of [President] Jacob Zuma and [Minister of Social Development and leader of the ANC Women’s League] Bathabile Dlamini must take note that the people of South Africa takes a dim view of their tardy response to a serious scourge of violent abuse perpetrated against women”.
“They are not prepared to tolerate any further abuse‚ not even for a second. Leaders must set the tone and lead by example by acting expeditiously against such morally reprehensible conduct‚” COPE added.
“COPE is of the view that the next right step is to request parliament to speedily summon him to the Joint Member’s Ethics Committee to hold him fully accountable and for bringing the institution into disrepute. There must be no place to hide for women bashers like Mduduzi Manana.”
The South Africa First Forum said it was also delighted that at last Manana had done the right thing by resigning from government and that the president had accepted his resignation.
Echoing COPE’s sentiments‚ it added however: “We are however convinced that they were forced into this action due to the loud and consistent outcry by ordinary South Africans; civil society groups; peoples’ movements; political parties; and the media. President Zuma again missed a trick because when the matter arose he should have immediately fired Manana. Zuma showed that he is not leading a wise and caring government.
“The # SA1st Forum will continue to say ‘ENOUGH is ENOUGH’‚ and we will not keep quiet during wrongdoing. It is a great day to see that more and more of our people are finding their voices to ‘speak truth to power’.”