President Jacob Zuma’s future as the leader of the country must be dealt with thoroughly by the ANC’s newly-elected national executive committee and in doing so‚ there should be “no place for vendettas and vindictiveness“‚ the uMkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans’ Association says.
“We therefore‚ especially‚ call for unnecessary divisive pressure with regards to the future of President Jacob Zuma as president of the Republic of South Africa to be avoided.
“The national executive committee of the ANC must be given the opportunity to deal with this matter — as it should with all other issues that it needs to address — in a manner that will forge unity and the effectiveness execution of policy‚” said MKMVA president Kebby Maphatsoe.
His statement comes amid growing calls for Zuma to resign and for newly-elected ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa to take over the reins after he narrowly beat his contender Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma at the party’s elective conference in December.
Since last year‚ various alliances and partners of the ANC‚ including veterans‚ Cosatu and the SACP‚ have called for Zuma to resign in the wake of his cabinet reshuffles‚ which saw former finance minister Pravin Gordhan and former minister of higher education and SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande sacked from their positions without consultation.
Over the weekend‚ ANC chairperson Gwede Mantashe criticised members of the ANC who have been saying Zuma will stay in his position as the head of state until 2019.
In contrast‚ at a rally of the ANC Youth League in April last year‚ Water and Sanitations Minister Nomvula Mokonyane assured supporters that Zuma was going nowhere until his term of office comes to an end.
In terms of existing ANC policy‚ the party president automatically becomes the country’s president. But the party’s and the country’s terms do not run on the same timeline – a two-year gap was created between the election of the party president and that of the state.
“Attacks on President Jacob Zuma have never been attacks on him as an individual but they are particularly driven by the intention to divide the African National Congress. That intention is to eventually bring out a situation where the ANC would lose political power‚” said MKMVA spokesperson Carl Niehaus.
The ANC is expected to hold its NEC meeting this week and on the agenda will be Zuma’s future as president of the country.