President Jacob Zuma should listen to the voices of South Africans and step down, the board of trustees of the Nelson Mandela Foundation said.
“Today, however, it is clear that our country’s Constitutional democracy is under threat and its political process in crisis,” chairperson of the board, Professor Njabulo Ndebele said.
The board was addressing the public and media on the state of the country on Wednesday evening.
"We urge him [Zuma] to listen to the voice of the people. His task to preserve, protect and defend the gift has irreparably faltered."
Ndebele said the African National Congress needed to sort out its own house in order for the party to have direction.
He also added that the Constitutional accountability by public officers in government had been eroded.
Ndebele said the country had leaders who neither cared for the authority of the Constitution nor for its vision.
“Instead they use and abuse the Constitutional state to build parallel bases of power and extract wealth shamelessly for themselves and their networks.
“It is no wonder that this untenable situation has led to calls across the land for the Head of State, President [Jacob] Zuma, largely regarded as the author of the current malaise, to vacate the highest office of state.”
He said for Zuma to listen to citizens would be a sign that he retained a deep respect for them.
“A leader who is also a democrat will listen to his/her people. And if he is of good conscience, then he would not flee into exile.”
He also said the foundation was opposed to the "on-going onslaught of the Constitution".
The board supported the urgent establishment of a judicial commission of inquiry to expose state capture in all its forms, he said.
“We urge South Africans to be vigilant against what can only be called a capturing of democracy itself.”
Meanwhile, CEO of the foundation Sello Hatang urged South Africans not to be forgetful about what happened in 2007.
He said in 2007, the ruling party was focused on the removal of a leader without looking at systems which needed to change.
"Concentration on the leader is not enough. Uproot everything that makes it possible for the leader to do what he is doing."