Zuma suspended for 'vitriolic attacks' against ANC, says Mbalula

29 January 2024 - 18:16 By Kgothatso Madisa
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Former president Jacob Zuma. File photo
Former president Jacob Zuma. File photo
Image: Thapelo Morebudi

The ANC has suspended the membership of its former president Jacob Zuma after determining he has been making “vitriolic attacks” against the governing party. 

This is according to ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula.  

The decision to suspend Zuma was taken by the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) at its meeting over the weekend.  

Mbalula said Zuma had established a “project” in the form of the MK party to dislodge the ANC from power.  

Zuma had also made “vitriolic attacks” on the ANC and its leadership since he announced he would back the MK party.  

He said the NEC believed the establishment of the MK party was in line with an ongoing trend of parties that sought to stop the ANC from retaining power.  

Zuma’s actions since the announcement of the MK party impaired the integrity of the ANC.  

Mbalula said this was in contravention of the party’s constitution and the NEC believed it had to act.  

“This chain of events requires the organisation to invoke measures to protect and preserve its integrity and prevent further damage to its reputation. The NEC during its ordinary meeting held from January 26 to 29 resolved to invoke rule 25.60 of the ANC constitution. I quote, ‘If justified, upon exceptional circumstances, warrant an immediate decision of temporary suspension of a member without eliciting the command or response of such member as contemplated above. The NEC, the national working committee, the provincial executive committee, the provisional working committee, as the case may be, may summarily suspend such member’.”  

Mbalula said the formation of the MK party “is not an accident” and “it is a deliberate attempt to use a proud history of armed struggle against their perfect origin to lend credibility to what is a blatantly counter revolutionary agenda”. 

The NEC believed Zuma was actively presenting himself as the figurehead of counter revolution in South Africa.  

“Former president Zuma is actively impairing the integrity of the ANC and campaigning to dislodge the ANC from power, claiming he has not terminated his membership,” said Mbalula.  

“This conduct is irreconcilable with the spirit of organisational discipline and letter of the ANC constitution.” 

Mbalula said up to now the ANC had taken a decision not to publicly respond to some of Zuma’s remarks under the banner of the MK party, but this will now change.

The party will respond to Zuma’s public “distortions”. 

ANC NEC sources earlier told TimesLIVE the NEC meeting opted for going “the long route” of taking Zuma through a disciplinary process instead of immediate expulsion.  

“We pulled the trigger, but we didn’t empty the chamber,” said one NEC member.  

This was because the party opted to go the disciplinary action route which could take time. 

Mbalula said the decision to not immediately act against Zuma was because the party had to take time to analyse his decision because the ANC had never had someone of Zuma’s calibre leaving the party. 


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