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Ex-backers welcome recall

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This was while Cosatu called for disciplinary charges against Zuma for apparently defying his party’s decision to recall him

ANC Secretary General Ace Magashule announces that the party has recalled President Jacob Zuma. PHOTO: Getrude Makhafola/ANA

ANC STRUCTURES, most of which backed President Jacob Zuma for years, yesterday welcomed without resistance his recall as head of state by the ruling party.

This was while Cosatu called for disciplinary charges against Zuma for apparently defying his party’s decision to recall him.

Cosatu spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said a decision to charge Zuma should be based on his apparent refusal to “abide by the decision of the NEC and resign”.

The federation’s call came after it emerged that Zuma has since Monday defied an attempt by ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa and secretary-general Ace Magashule to allow him to voluntarily resign as head of state.

Yesterday, Zuma refused to sign a recall letter Magashule and his deputy Jessie Duarte delivered to him at the presidential guest house Mahlamba Ndlopfu.

“The federation is not at all surprised by this level of intransigence and total inebriation with power by President Jacob Zuma. This after all is the president who, working with his mercenary followers, converted his cabinet into a rent-seeking, docile and unaccountable caste.

“He divided and humiliated the ANC on a number of occasions and weakened and almost dismantled the ANC alliance,” Pamla said.

Cosatu was adamant that Zuma was being defiant. “Allowing this gruesome posturing by President Zuma to continue unabated, risks plunging the country into an economic and political crisis.

“Cosatu also urges the ANC to explore the possibility of charging President Zuma and subjecting him to a disciplinary process for defying a constitutional structure of the ANC and bringing the organisation into disrepute,” Pamla insisted.

The Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) leader Kebby Maphatsoe has also welcomed the decision of the highest structure of the ANC.

“As an integral part of the ANC, we welcome the decision of the ANC national executive committee. We respect the decision of the ANC,” Maphatsoe said.

When asked about what would happen if Zuma refused to leave, Maphatsoe was not committal on the matter but said that the ANC NEC would be able to deal with it.

Mike Mabuyakhulu, KwaZulu-Natal ANC provincial interim committee convenor, said that the NEC’s decision should be accepted and respected by all party members as the ANC “is a unitary organisation”.

“We also want to allay this misconception that the issue of the president should be seen solely in the eyes that the president comes from here (KZN). In the same vein that president (Thabo) Mbeki was recalled in 2008 we think the members of the ANC in KZN will not look at this issue like that, because we want to move away from the notion that because the president comes from KZN there will be a different approach.”

While the ANC Youth League has accepted the ANC’s decision, the league’s spokesperson, Mlondi Mkhize, said they would comment officially after the completion of the negotiation process between Zuma and the national leadership.

The ANC in Gauteng and Mpumalanga have also welcomed the decision. Mpumalanga provincial secretary Mandla Ndlovu said that the “decision of the national executive committee is final”.

ANC Veterans League president Dr Snuki Zikalala also welcomed the decision.

“It will bring about stability in the country and within the ANC. It will also boost confidence by investors that we were able to deal with the issue of transition in a proper manner,” Dr Zikalala said.

The SACP has also endorsed the ANC decision to recall Zuma.

SACP spokesperson Alex Mashilo said the ANC decision should pave the way to the unity of the alliance in the run-up to the 2019 elections.

“The immediate tasks moving forward include dismantling the parasitic networks surrounding our state and movement and to deal decisively with corporate state capture and other forms of corruption.”