South African human-rights activist Kumi Naidoo says if President Jacob Zuma had any decency he would quit.

Naidoo, who received an honorary doctorate in social science from the University of KwaZulu-Natal yesterday, used his acceptance speech to urge South African leaders to end corruption.president Zuma

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Jazz musician Hugh Masekela was also honoured.

Naidoo, the former head of Greenpeace International, was recognised for his outstanding contribution to the South African struggle for democracy, the battle against climate change and the fight against poverty and injustice. He said the situation in South Africa was tragic.

“We see a complete lack of progressive, effective, meaningful leadership and the capture of powerful state institutions to advance the interests of a small number of political leaders and their allies.

“That the nuclear deal is still being discussed indicates that the deal is driven by outside interests as well as the interests of uranium companies such as Shiva Uranium,” he said.

Naidoo said the push for the nuclear deal was behind the axing of Pravin Gordhan and his deputy, Mcebisi Jonas.

“If people think the arms deal had a lot of corruption, this nuclear deal – if it goes ahead – will make the arms deal look like a Sunday picnic.

“President Zuma and his people must understand, you can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can never fool all people all of the time.”