The national executive committee (NEC) of the ANC has resolved that President Jacob Zuma remains as both president of the party and the country.
While addressing the media at the party’s headquarters, Luthuli House, in central Johannesburg, the party’s secretary-general, Gwede Mantashe, said the NEC had resolved that it would build towards unity in the liberation movement, which was more important that “it was more urgent to direct the energies of the ANC in its entirety to working towards the unity of the movement”.
Mantashe said that the meeting between the party’s NEC and veterans had noted a rise in racism and ethnic chauvinism, and this was what they intended doing away with.
The debate, Mantashe said, showed “many different views” needed to be contested.
The NEC did not support the motion of no confidence against Zuma because “the NEC has never voted on anything”. Instead, Mantashe says they normally prefer to “debate matters until there’s a consensus”.
“The NEC has resolved not to support the call for the president to step down. We resolved that we work towards achieving unity in the movement.”
In its official statement on its NEC meeting as a whole, the ANC said: “During the course of these discussions, a call was made for ANC President Comrade Jacob Zuma to consider stepping down as the President of the Republic of South Africa. The NEC decided that even though the issue was neither on the agenda nor in the Political Report, the debate should be allowed without any suppression.
“On the call for the President to consider stepping down as President of the Republic, the NEC took time to elaborate on what we have previously identified as a negative narrative directed towards the President.
“The essence of engagement and discussion is persuasion in order to arrive at consensus. As such, the NEC of the ANC always seeks to persuade one another through argument. It does not seek to conclude matters through voting. Following robust, honest, candid and at times difficult discussions, the NEC did not support the call for the President to step down. The NEC resolved it was more urgent to direct the energies of the ANC in its entirety to working towards the unity of the movement.
“All members of the NEC had an opportunity to raise, in the meeting, the issues they feel are hurting the movement and the country. All these are very important and are being given due consideration by the NEC.”