CityPress - - Front Page - SIZWE SAMA YENDE sizwe.yende@city­

In­di­vid­ual ANC mem­bers in four prov­inces are gear­ing up to raise funds to help Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma pay his Nkandla bill af­ter one re­gion de­cided to open up a trust ac­count for him.

Mpumalanga’s pre­mier and ANC chair­per­son, David Mabuza, chal­lenged his province to lead the pack and help Zuma.

Last week, the Eh­lanzeni re­gional gen­eral coun­cil took a res­o­lu­tion to open a trust ac­count in which ANC mem­bers and donors could de­posit cash to help Zuma re­pay the amount that Fi­nance Min­is­ter Pravin Gord­han will de­ter­mine. That amount has to be sub­mit­ted to the Con­sti­tu­tional Court within 60 days of March 31.

Other prov­inces rais­ing funds for Zuma in­clude the Free State and North West which, like Mpumalanga, are headed by pre­miers who are ar­dent Zuma sup­port­ers.

The Gaut­eng ANC, whose pro­vin­cial ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee stopped just short of call­ing on Zuma to step down, will hold its pro­vin­cial gen­eral coun­cil in two weeks. “So, we have not dis­cussed the mat­ter yet,” said spokesper­son Nkenke Kekana.

The East­ern Cape, West­ern Cape and North­ern Cape said they had not dis­cussed it ei­ther. At­tempts to get com­ment from the ANC in Lim­popo and KwaZulu-Natal failed.

North West ANC sec­re­tary Dakota Le­goete said: “We are pre­pared to sup­port that com­mu­nity chest to help the pres­i­dent pay Trea­sury. Our province agrees he should fin­ish both his terms [in the ANC and gov­ern­ment] be­cause ... of us hav­ing given him the re­spon­si­bil­ity to be pres­i­dent. We can­not tear our­selves apart be­cause of op­po­si­tion par­ties and out­side forces.”

Free State ANC spokesper­son Thabo Meeko said his province had sup­ported Zuma be­fore and would con­tinue do­ing so, “even if it means in mone­tary terms”.

Mabuza first floated the idea on April 12, fol­low­ing a meet­ing by the Mpumalanga pro­vin­cial ex­ec­u­tive coun­cil (PEC), re­gions and leagues to dis­cuss the Con­sti­tu­tional Court’s rul­ing on Pub­lic Pro­tec­tor Thuli Madon­sela’s re­port on the R240 mil­lion Nkandla bill.

He said: “Trea­sury will de­ter­mine how much the pres­i­dent must pay back. If he does not have the money, he might re­quest ANC mem­bers to pay,” adding that the re­gions would con­vey the mes­sage to the branches.

ANC sec­re­tary-gen­eral Gwede Man­tashe crit­i­cised the move as a “top-down ap­proach” and ad­mon­ished prov­inces for im­pos­ing their opin­ions on branches.

Bohla­bela PEC sec­re­tary Mandla Ndlovu con­firmed that the province’s ANC struc­tures sup­ported the idea of a trust ac­count, but it was up to the na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee to take the fi­nal de­ci­sion.

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