Cape Times

Zuma has harsh words for MPs

- Zimasa Matiwane

PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma has joined calls for the ANC to crack the whip on 26 ANC MP’s who voted for his removal in Parliament as the fallout over the motion of no confidence deepened.

“Those who say they have their own conscience are comrades who take the ANC for granted. Comrades should have an ANC conscience,” he said.

Zuma, fresh from surviving the attempt to oust him, said the MPs had played with fire and that he would be “happy if the party took a tough decision”.

“We want unity in the ANC, where when decisions are made, all members follow those decisions,” he said

Zuma was addressing hundreds of supporters at a cadres forum in Phongolo, Northern KwaZulu-Natal yesterday. He told the gathering that ANC MPs who defied the party line contravene­d the organisati­on’s constituti­on.

“That is why I want the ANC constituti­on to work. For those who have two conscience­s make space (in the National Assembly) for those who have an ANC conscience.

“Not even five years after they voted the ANC, they are now voting against it,” Zuma said.

Zuma said he was confused as even the ANC disciplina­ry committee chairperso­n (Derek Hanekom) is accused of being among the MPs who voted against him.

He said the no-confidence vote against him was a ploy to ultimately remove the ANC from power.

“They (opposition) are at a point where they are comfortabl­e to remove us because they have infiltrate­d the ANC.

“It’s unheard of that an ANC member would go against the ANC. It’s even rare that ANC members want to use their conscience,” said Zuma.

Zuma said “comrades who spoke ill of other comrades in the media”’ were anti ANC unity.

ANC treasurer Zweli Mkhize, the ANC Youth League, Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Associatio­n and cabinet members such as Lindiwe Zulu have also called for action against the MPs.

But the ANC at Luthuli House, its headquarte­rs, and its tripartite alliance partners, SACP and Cosatu have warned against the witch-hunt.

Zuma defended his relationsh­ip with the Guptas, he was yet to hear why he was being accused of corruption.

“When you are friends with someone, is that corrupt?” he asked.

He said his name was “not even on the emails but it was always mentioned”.

Zuma also said he had become a target since he began calling for the radical socio-economic transforma­tion and the return of land.

“I was poisoned and almost died just because South Africa joined Brics under my leadership,” Zuma said.

He called on party members in the province to protect the ANC.

“I ask you to be united because they are trying to divide you. Unity of the ANC is the only way to protect our freedom,” Zuma.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa