Former top civil servant Sipho Pityana has asked President Jacob Zuma to step down.
Pityana, a former head of the departments of labour and foreign affairs, was among the speakers at the funeral of former Sports and Recreation Minister Makhenkesi Stofile at Fort Hare University in Alice, Eastern Cape.
Pityana said he was disappointed that the President was not present at the funeral as he had prepared his speech especially for him. He said if Zuma was present, he would have begged him, pleaded with him and prayed him to step down and hand over power. The president did not attend the Stofile’s funeral as had to travel to Kenya today to participate in the 6th Summit of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI) taking place in Nairobi, Kenya.
Pityana also took a swipe at Zuma, suggesting that he had been weakened after he lost the Constitutional Case over to Nkandla to the DA and the EFF.
“Once the ConCourt says you failed to uphold your oath of office, you are honourable no longer. You are untrustworthy,” he told the mourners.
He told the funeral that the ANC needed a change of leadership.
“The next battle cannot be held by a leader that has humiliated our organisation and undermined what we represent,” he told thousands who attended the funeral.
He added, “I pray comrades that we find younger leaders. It’s about time those among us who are aged spend time playing with their grandchildren, they need us.”
Pityana also said he joins others who have called for an elective conference of ANC to be held urgently following the its poor performance in areas such as Gauteng. “Leadership is not fun, leadership is about responsibility,” he said.
The funeral was also attended by the ANC Secretary General, Gwede Mantashe, former Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, among other leaders.
See Pityana’s tribute below: