In their own words - ANC leaders who defended Zuma
President Jacob Zuma could face a motion of no confidence from within his own party – an abrupt about-turn after the staunch support he once enjoyed.
Several top ANC leaders have in the past been vocal in their support for Zuma when he faced motions of no confidence or scandals like the one around the financing of upgrades to his home at Nkandla.
Observers‚ particularly on social media‚ have been quick to point out that the consistent backing of Zuma in public has given him ample ammunition now to reject calls for his departure.
Here‚ in their own words‚ is a recap of how some ANC members spoke out in defence of Zuma:
• “Voting in favour of this motion will be tantamount to throwing a nuclear bomb on the government of South Africa … It will create so much political instability and uncertainty. This will inadvertently negatively affect the poor and the working class the most‚” ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu said on August 4 2017 in Parliament‚ a few days before a motion of no confidence vote set for August 8.
• “Zuma will still be in charge till 2017 and in 2019 into the next elections‚” Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane told ANC Youth League supporters in Germiston in April 2017.
• “If Msholozi (Zuma’s clan name) goes‚ he would go on our accord‚ not of the liars. He is our president‚” Police Minister Fikile Mbalula said on August 8 2017‚ after a failed motion of no confidence in Zuma by opposition parties.
• “Members of the ANC have got no right to represent their jackets in Parliament. They represent the organisation. They are suicide bombers. A suicide bomber is someone who dies for an ideology‚” Mbalula said in July 2017‚ explaining that ANC MPs represent the party and not an ideology.
The ANC has full confidence in President Jacob Zuma to lead South Africa as the country’s presidentZizi Kodwa
• “The ANC has full confidence in President Jacob Zuma to lead South Africa as the country’s president … The people of South Africa have seen these strides and have trusted President Zuma and the ANC to continue with this work and tackle the challenges that continue to plague us‚” said ANC national spokesperson Zizi Kodwa in a statement issued on March 1 2016.
• “The African National Congress holds 62% of the vote in the National Assembly‚ so there is no chance in hell that the motion of no confidence will succeed‚” Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba told reporters at the World Economic Forum on Africa in Durban on May 4 2017.
• “The president is going to serve his term until 2019. Until the ANC changes its mind‚ the president will remain the president‚” Gigaba told Bloomberg TV the same year.
• “We’ve said‚ as an organisation‚ let’s accept the mistakes we have made. But to come here and vote with the opposition? Who of the opposition can come vote with the ANC?” Minister of Small Business Development Lindiwe Zulu said on August 8 2017‚ after a motion of no confidence in Zuma was defeated.