Mthembu sticks to ANC rules with 'Zuma must go' call

22 November 2017 - 06:45 By Penwell Dlamini
Jackson Mthembu
Jackson Mthembu
Image: Freddy Mavunda/Business Day

The statement by ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu that President Jacob Zuma must resign after next month's elective conference represents the view of one faction pushing for Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to be the next ruling party leader.

This is the reaction of political analyst Dumisani Hlophe, who said the context in which Mthembu made this call was completely different to what happened when he protected Zuma against a motion of no confidence in parliament earlier this year.

"With the vote of no confidence, [that] was initiated by the opposition. That matters. If the ANC had gone ahead and removed Zuma based on the initiative of the opposition, it would have meant that the ANC had abdicated its responsibility to provide leadership.

"It would not have been strategic. So he had to defend the position of the ANC. That was a positional matter, whether he likes the guy [Zuma] or not.

"This time around it is a leadership contestation in the ANC.

"It has been initiated within the ANC through ANC processes, governed by the ANC constitution, rules and regulations and to be decided by the ANC," said Hlophe.

Reuters reported that Mthembu said whomever was chosen to lead the party at next month's conference, the incoming leadership should tell Zuma to go to allow the ANC to clean up its act.

"You can't keep him there," he told Reuters.

Mthembu said the ANC could learn from what was happening in Zimbabwe, where Zanu-PF had been pushing for President Robert Mugabe to leave.