You Can Fire Zuma Only When He’s No Longer ANC President
Controversial Gupta email leaks sparking off more calls for Zuma to resign will have no effect on him until he steps down as the leader of the ruling ANC.
These were the words of the ANC secretary-General Gwede Mantashe as he addressed foreign journalists on Wednesday.
The veteran leader who has been defensive of the ANC leadership despite growing attacks from opposition parties and the internal friction between the party members said it will be easier to remove President Jacob Zuma from power once he is no longer ANC president.
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Giving his reasons, Mantashe reportedly said that the ANC could not be part of the plans to have Zuma removed because there was a resolution adopted at Polokwane that the president of the country should be the party’s presidential candidate.
“That is a very important milestone because beyond that point many things are possible. What I am saying is that his term ends in 2019, but beyond December the conversation becomes less complex,” Mantashe reportedly said.
The veteran’s comment about the possibility of seeing Zuma follows reports that sources opposed to Zuma said they would push for his removal after he steps down as ANC president in December.
Calls for Zuma to step down have come from within the ANC, its alliance members, religious organisations, civil society and the tens of thousands of people nationwide who marched against the president in April.
But the cries have fallen on deaf ears in the ANC and analysts say those who share an anti-Zuma sentiment may have to accept that he will remain president until 2019.
Civil society groups played a huge role in massing together protesters during demonstrations that took place countrywide in April. The organisations banded together under the banner Save SA. Black Sash and Business Leadership South Africa reiterated the calls for Zuma’s removal.
Although the calls for the president’s removal have come from far and wide, with dozens more calling for his sacking, analysts say he will remain president at least until December this year.
South African attorney and politician Matthew Phosa during his speech at the opening of the Junior Indaba launched yet another scathing attack on Zuma, referring to his government as the worst South Africa has experienced since the end of apartheid.
While speaking on the state of the country’s democracy, Phosa who is among those standing against Zuma’s “corrupt” leadership regarded the Zuma/Gupta scandal as the worst crime ever against the people of South Africa.
South Africa, the country that we all love, is in dire need of dramatic political and economic changes.
At the very least we need a new political leadership, changes in our economic policy, urgent changes to our education system, and consensus between all stakeholders on how we revive the rainbow spirit in our nation, Phosa remarked.
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Meanwhile, Gwede Mantashe commented on Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s political vibe saying that the for a woman President is nothing but a campaign tool.
“We don’t have anything called a woman president in the ANC. We look for the president of the ANC, male or female, because if we elect a female, that female will not be a female president, but will be president of the ANC.
“It’s as simple as that. The terminology that it must be a woman president is a manufacturing of terms that feeds campaigning. We need a president of the ANC, male or female,” Mantashe said.