ANC mum on motion of no confidence at NEC meeting
Gupta family says leak ‘to influence ANC executive’
AS President Jacob Zuma fought for his political life at an ANC national executive committee (NEC) meeting that dragged on until late yesterday evening, his KwaZuluNatal backers were silent on the latest attempts to recall him.
“It will be improper for us to comment about a matter that is before the NEC. We rather wait for a formal communication from the NEC rather than to respond to media reports,” said Thulisa Ndlela, the spokesperson of the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) eThekwini region — a ruling party structure considered to be one of Zuma’s strongest support bases.
ANC secretarygeneral Gwede Mantashe has denied that the NEC was last night deliberating on a motion of no confidence that was tabled against Zuma during the twoday NEC meeting that began on Saturday.
However, there are strong indications that Zuma’s detractors within the ruling party’s highest decisionmaking body had tabled the motion.
Reliable sources within the NEC have confirmed that ANC policy guru Joel Netshitenzhe on Saturday tabled a motion of no confidence in Zuma.
Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi and his deputy, Joe Phaahla, and axed Tourism minister Derek Hanekom, are some of the NEC members who are said to have supported Netshitenzhe’s motion.
Saturday’s motion was the second that Zuma has faced since his election as ANC president in 2007. In November last year, Hanekom tabled a similar motion, which Zuma survived.
Since November there have been more senior ANC leaders who have turned against Zuma as a result of his relationship with the Gupta family. The Guptas are reported to have used their links to him to assert undue influence over government departments and parastatals.
Sunday newspapers yesterday published articles showing a flow of emails between members of the Gupta family and senior government leaders.
Some of the emails show how the Guptas had screened candidates being considered for ministerial positions before they could be handed the portfolios.
By yesterday evening there had not been any update from Mantashe on the outcome of the NEC meeting that was being held at the Saint George’s hotel in Irene outside Pretoria.
Despite Zuma’s staunchest supporters, ANC KZN chairperson Sihle Zikalala and the province’s secretary, Super Zuma, being part of the weekend’s NEC meeting, the party’s provincial leaders could not shed light on the event.
“I have not been briefed about the motion of no confidence. I only saw it on news websites,” ANC provincial spokesperson Mdumiseni Ntuli said.
Zuma is also facing another motion of no confidence in Parliament after opposition parties called for his dismissal.
See more on the email saga: page 2
CAPE TOWN — Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane yesterday said leaked Gupta emails published in the weekend papers amounted to concrete proof of a “shadow criminal state in South Africa”, which is led by the Gupta and Zuma families. This after City Press and the Sun
day Times led with articles based on alleged leaked internal Gupta staff emails, which appear to outline the extreme influence the Gupta family has over President Jacob Zuma and his associates.
“Today’s [Sunday’s] reports reveal written proof in the form of a string of emails which confirm that South Africa has been captured by the Guptas,” Maimane said in a statement.
He said the DA consulted with lawyers about taking legal action against Zuma, the Gupta family and others implicated in the leaked emails.
Among the complaints the lawyers would investigate were those of grand corruption and the undermining of state sovereignty, he said.
Economic Freedom Fighters commanderinchief Julius Malema, meanwhile, tweeted that he had already warned last year that Zuma wanted to “flee South Africa”.
This was in relation to one of the potentially most damning emails, which included a draft letter from Zuma to Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Gen eral Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. According to City Press, the letter informed the prince that “my family has decided to make the UAE a second home. It will be a great honour for me and my family to gain your patronage during our proposed residency in the UAE.”
Malema yesterday retweeted a tweet from April 10, 2016 which read: “We received unconfirmed reports that Zuma wants to leave the country and seek asylum in Dubai because he doesn’t feel safe in the country.”
Gupta family lawyer Gert van der Merwe said yesterday he had spoken to the Gupta family and they denied any wrongdoing.
“They reserve their right against these newsrooms who published these stories,” he said.
Van Der Merwe said could not comment on the substance of the emails as he had not seen them, but suspected they were part of a plan to influence the ANC’s National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting this weekend.
“We were never supplied with the documents on which these articles ostensibly rely.
“We couldn’t verify the authenticity thereof,” he said.
If the documents were obtained from an unlawful source, he said would be surprised if this was “balanced reporting”.
“Unless these newspaper had the open mindedness to at least show me the documents on which they rely, [then] that would have been fair to request comment from me.”