Calls to re­move Zuma ‘aimed at dis­lodg­ing ANC’

The Witness - - NEWS -

JO­HAN­NES­BURG — Calls for Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma to go are about dis­lodg­ing the party from power, the ANC said yes­ter­day.

“In the case of the op­po­si­tion the mes­sage is clearer: it is to dis­lodge the ANC from power. They them­selves say that it is not about pres­i­dent Zuma, but about the ANC,” sec­re­tary­gen­eral Gwede Man­tashe told re­porters in Jo­han­nes­burg.

Zuma sur­vived a sec­ond call — within six months — for him to step down. It was made dur­ing the party’s na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee (NEC) meet­ing over the week­end.

Sources who at­tended the NEC meet­ing said as many as 70 peo­ple spoke for and against the mo­tion, which pol­icy guru Joel Net­shiten­zhe tabled.

Sev­eral peo­ple, in­clud­ing cabi­net min­is­ters, sup­ported the mo­tion. Anti­Zuma NEC mem­bers said they be­lieved the mo­tion would have been suc­cess­ful had it been put to a vote.

“They are afraid of a se­cret vote. If they had said vote, he [Zuma] wouldn’t have sur­vived,” an ANC NEC mem­ber said.

Zuma sup­port­ers, how­ever, claimed it was eas­ier to “crush” the mo­tion this time.

Man­tashe merely said a num­ber of NEC mem­bers be­lieved the party should lis­ten to pub­lic calls for Zuma to go.

“Var­i­ous con­tri­bu­tions in sup­port of and against the ap­peal to the pres­i­dent to step down were raised. Many more were nei­ther in favour of nor against the ap­peal, but em­pha­sised the need for unity within the or­gan­i­sa­tion,” Man­tashe said.

Zuma is due to face an­other mo­tion of no con­fi­dence in Par­lia­ment soon. The Eco­nomic Free­dom Fight­ers ap­proached the Con­sti­tu­tional Court to try and have him im­peached.

The date for the mo­tion will be set af­ter the court rules on whether the vote should be done via se­cret bal­lot, fol­low­ing an ap­pli­ca­tion by United Demo­cratic Move­ment, sup­ported by other op­po­si­tion par­ties.

Man­tashe said ANC mem­bers were ex­pected to toe the party line. They had been warned that vot­ing with the op­po­si­tion would amount to mis­con­duct.

He said ac­cord­ing to the party con­sti­tu­tion, mis­con­duct is de­fined as act­ing on be­half or in col­lab­o­ra­tion with counter­revo­lu­tion­ary forces.

He side­stepped ques­tions on whether calls within the ANC for Zuma to go were re­garded in the same light. The party stal­warts who had been call­ing for the ANC to hold a con­sul­ta­tive con­fer­ence had urged the ANC cau­cus to put for­ward their own mo­tion for Zuma to step down.

“We are not ac­cus­ing vet­er­ans of col­lab­o­rat­ing with those forces, but the out­come can con­verge on those con­se­quences,” he said.

In June, the party would meet its al­liance part­ners and the South African Coun­cil of Churches (SACC) fol­low­ing the re­lease of its damn­ing re­port into state cap­ture, and which im­pli­cated Zuma in wrong­do­ing.

“The NEC dis­cussed at length the need to re­con­nect with sec­tors of so­ci­ety that are drift­ing away from the move­ment. This is par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant for those have been tra­di­tional al­lies of the broad lib­er­a­tion move­ment, in­clud­ing some tra­di­tional lead­ers and sec­tions of the faith­based com­mu­nity led by, amongst oth­ers, the SACC,” Man­tashe said.

He re­fused to com­ment on Zuma’s threats, which he made in his clos­ing ad­dress to the NEC.

Zuma warned mem­bers to “not push him too far” by crit­i­cis­ing him in pub­lic.

— News24.

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