The movement‚ which has launched a series of protests against Zuma‚ responded to a newspaper report that one of the president’s allies had started a purge of opponents.
“The Save South Africa campaign condemns Free State Premier Ace Magashule’s attempts to punish public servants who protested against President Jacob Zuma at last week’s aborted May Day rally in Bloemfontein‚” Save South Africa said in a statement released on Sunday night.
“The Premier’s campaign to track down and act against people exercising their democratic rights is yet another example of the doublespeak that has become a hallmark of the Zuma administration.”
Sunday Independent said Magashule had allegedly rounded up heads of department in the province and instructed them to start preparing dismissal letters for those who had booed Zuma at a May Day event in Bloemfontein.
A standoff ensued between pro and anti-Zuma groups at the event‚ which was eventually aborted after the crowd refused to be silenced.
Zuma later dismissed the hecklers‚ saying booing was a normal feature of democracy.
“It’s telling that while Zuma jokes publicly about the fact that being booed shows the strength of our democracy‚ his sidekicks are themselves acting in the most anti-democratic way: scrutinising video tapes for suspects and asking government officials to pimp on their colleagues‚” Save SA said.
“The Save South Africa campaign stands ready to seek to ensure legal assistance for public servants who may be caught up in apartheid-style witch-hunts‚ and will take legal steps against Magashule if necessary to protect workers and protesters.
“We will also continue to encourage people to boo Zuma wherever he goes‚ and to make sure he gets the message loud and clear: Zuma must go!”