Only Zuma can save himself from the humiliation of being ousted‚ says ANC

14 February 2018 - 17:20 By Thabo Mokone
President Jacob Zuma.
President Jacob Zuma.

The ANC has made it clear that only President Jacob Zuma can save himself from the humiliation of being ousted from office through a vote of no confidence.

This comes after the party's 249-member parliamentary caucus on Wednesday unanimously agreed to table a motion of no confidence in Zuma's leadership.

The caucus took the decision following Zuma's repeated refusal to step down after being asked to do so by the party's top leadership structures‚ including the national executive committee‚ the national working committee and the party's top six officials in the last 10 days.

In a televised interview‚ Zuma on Wednesday reiterated that he would not resign voluntarily‚ adding that only the national assembly had the authority to axe him.

Zuma said he remained convinced he had done nothing wrong.

“There is been done in a manner that I felt I have been victimised here. I said I disagree with the decision. I did not defy‚” Zuma said.

ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile‚ who had been sent to brief ANC MPs on the matter of Zuma's recall‚ said on Wednesday that the governing party had lost patience with Zuma and would no longer allow him to cause anxiety within the country.

"The ball is in his court‚ we are moving ahead‚ he will find us on the way if he resigns.

"We can't wait any longer‚ it's not fair to South Africans‚ it's not fair to the ANC‚ to anybody because everything has almost come to a standstill and we need to be able to move.

"It's all systems ago. We are starting a new era. The conference of the ANC has elected a new hope to our people. our people want to see change‚ they want to see the new leadership taking over the management‚ not only of the ANC but of the state…we want to focus on building the economy and deal with the challenges our people are facing so we don't have time to be bickering about who should be president who should not‚" said Mashatile.

Chief whips of the DA, EFF and IFP have commented on the motion on a vote of no confidence against Jacob Zuma, which will be heard in Parliament on Thursday.

Zuma's fate is now due to be sealed on Thursday at a specially convened sitting of the National Assembly when it meets to discussed a no confidence motion tabled by the EFF‚ a party that's been seeking his ousting since its arrival in parliament in 2014.

The ANC acceded to the EFF motion to be brought forward by a week to this afternoon on an urgent basis.

Unlike the previous such motion in August last year which was voted on by secret ballot‚ Thursday's motion is due to be done by open ballot.

ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu said his caucus would amend the EFF motion so that the ANC can claim ownership of it in terms of the rules of the National Assembly.

Mthembu said their motivation for the amendment to the EFF motion would spell out the ANC's reason why Zuma should be ejected from office.

"As ANC we'll put our own reasoning arising from the 54th (national conference)‚ of course also arising from the discussion arising in the NEC for over thirteen hours.

"We'll effect that into the amendments‚ Yes‚ caucus had discussed this matter. We'll in the morning meet again to finalise the logistics of the speakers' list and our line in terms of who speaks in the debate‚" said Mthembu.

Parliament was also preparing to elect ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa to take over from Zuma on Friday morning‚ pending the availability of Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng.

The national legislature has also resolved to hold the state of the nation address on Friday night after it was postponed last week following Zuma's refusal to resign.