'Mbeki's letter isn't calling for Zuma to step down'

Former President Thabo Mbeki has written a 4000-word letter published on his Facebook page, looking at the significance of the Constitutional Court's ruling on Nkandla.

Afternoon Drive's Xolani Gwala spoke to EWN reporter Alex Eliseev, about key points that the letter highlights.

The letter doesn't call for President Jacob Zuma to step down as many would have expected, instead, the former president looks at the wider significance that the ruling has on South Africa's growing democracy.

If you do the word count it's sitting at around 4000, then if you take away all of that [quotes from the judgement) you go down to about 500 words.

Alex Eliseev, EWN reporter

It's a much wider thing. It doesn't really deal with the president himself in terms of what he should be doing. And certainly if anybody thought there would be a call for Jacob Zuma to be stepping down that isn't there.

Alex Eliseev, EWN reporter

It's just a reminder to people around the journey to a constitutional democracy in this country. It talks about the sacrifice of the struggle, and how we got there and what it means. It quotes the judgement from the Constitutional Court at length, saying that it's a critical contribution to this project that we call South Africa.

Alex Eliseev, EWN reporter

He uses phrases like, 'it should be obvious then that the president has this certain responsibility, and that the Public Protector's office should be respected and should be given the funds to do its work. Because if you don't do that, he says, what you risk is that there could be a breakdown of that democracy and there could be, what he calls a counter revolutionary democracy.

Alex Eliseev, EWN reporter

And he says that this is a young democracy, so there are going to be stumbles, there are going to be falls, and that those have to be righted as we go along.

Alex Eliseev, EWN reporter

Listen to the conversation below for more...


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