From well wishes for Zuma to investigating Ace Magashule - 5 takeouts from Jessie Duarte's briefing

07 July 2021 - 10:30 By cebelihle bhengu
ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte briefed the media this week.
ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte briefed the media this week.
Image: Freddy Mavunda

ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte said suspended ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule will be asked to explain his statements in Nkandla at the weekend, in which he told members of disbanded party branches to disobey the ANC. 

Magashule joined ANC supporters who went to the home of former president Jacob Zuma to show their support and "defend" him from arrest after the ConCourt sentenced him to 15 months' imprisonment.

The deputy secretary-general was briefing the media on the outcomes of the latest NEC meeting when she conveyed well wishes to Zuma, who is awaiting a high court judgment after launching an application to stay his arrest.

Here are five takeaways from the briefing: 

'We love Jacob Zuma'

Duarte expressed support for the embattled former president, saying he is an elder of the ANC.

Zuma was sentenced to 15 months' imprisonment by the Constitutional Court after he was found guilty of contempt of court. In a perceived attempt to dodge imprisonment, he approached the apex court and filed a rescission application which will be heard on July 12.

He also approached the Pietermaritzburg high court with an application to stay his arrest until next Monday. On Tuesday this week, judge Bhekisisa Mnguni said he would issue the high court's judgment on Friday morning.

“We would hope that comrade Zuma's court application will be successful. We have selected a group of NEC members who are going to work with the PEC and NEC deployees, very senior members of the ANC. Comrade Zuma is an elder of our organisation, we love and respect him.”

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Ace Magashule will be investigated 

The suspended secretary-general will account to the ANC about his calls for structures to disobey the party.

“We will be asking the SG to explain his statement, especially because something was analysed by a journalist which said something else. We'd like for him to explain exactly what he said.”

Local government elections

Duarte said alert level 4 restrictions don't allow the ruling party to campaign for the local government elections.

“Our style of reaching out to voters is very direct. Door-to-door, explaining our memorandum to people... accepting their criticism and their praise. We have made a submission to the Moseneke inquiry in which we have said that if we can't have the elections on 27 [October], as has been announced, we've asked that they look at between one and six months for the elections to be postponed by.”

The ANC did not ignore the Nkandla chaos

Asked about crowds and gatherings at Nkandla and what the ruling party did to calm the situation, Duarte said “that we sent people down to KZN and we were able to avert bloodshed must say something to you”.

Protests were organised internally

Duarte said the Nkandla protests were organised by ANC members. She said the party had difficulty getting people to give statements to police to hold the ringleaders accountable. 

“There are certain people in the ANC who take a leading role from various provinces who stimulate the kind of ill-discipline that we see. They also do it in their provinces. They organise people to go and disrupt branches, we know this.”