ANC RALLIES TO RAISE NKANDLA CASH
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.