Archbishop Desmond Tutu against Jacob Zuma presidency

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South Africa Nobel Peace Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu has sparked an outcry by saying he will not vote in next year’s election – unless the ruling African National Congress (ANC) heals its divisions.

The world statesman also said ANC president Jacob Zuma should decline to accept office as the president of South Africa as long as the cloud of alleged corruption hangs over his head, and lamented the lack of accountability by the ruling ANC.

Tutu, who celebrated his 77th birthday at Cape Town’s Milnerton Primary School on Monday, said that he stood by his comments which were published in the Sunday Times and carried around the world.

Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi said on Monday that the answer to the ANC’s “current crisis of leadership” was in more, not less, public participation in the political process.

“Archbishop Tutu remains an iconic figure and his political opinions matter to many South Africans. His vow that he will not vote in the next election is an unfortunate response to the ongoing crisis of leadership in the ruling party. The archbishop’s view is practically an endorsement of voter apathy,” Buthelezi said.

The IFP said it was concerned that Tutu made public his choice not to vote just at the start of the national voter registration drive by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and individual political parties.

The ANC in Limpopo described Tutu’s statements as reckless.

It said it was irresponsible to send messages like this when everyone should be encouraging people to express their democratic right through elections. Panapress.

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