President Jacob Zuma emerged from the extended African National Congress (ANC) national working committee (NWC) meeting confident and in power despite growing calls for him to quit.
A letter from the integrity commission, which concluded that he resign as he had brought the organisation into disrepute through scandals including Nkandla, was set aside by the NWC and declared null and void, deputy secretary-general Jesse Duarte said.
She said the ANC national working committee (NWC) heard that the letter was not a resolution of the commission.
“The integrity commission, according to the report we received, withdrew the letter themselves on the basis that it was not their resolution. The letter had been faxed late at night. Some of the members only saw the letter at their meeting … and on the basis of that asked that it be withdrawn,” she said.
The commission, headed by ANC veteran Andrew Mlangeni, reportedly concluded in December last year that Zuma should step down, and had informed party secretary-general Gwede Mantashe and requested an urgent meeting this past weekend. A follow-up meeting between Zuma and the commission was set for Sunday at the historic Liliesleaf Farm in Johannesburg.
Duarte said Mantashe never received the letter from the commission.
Mlangeni is part of more than 100 ANC stalwarts and veterans who decried the state of the ANC and the country, and called on the ANC to fire Zuma “and ensure that the ANC is again recognised as the only party that can protect our constitution”.
Zuma has come under fire as alliance partners Cosatu and SACP joined calls for him to resign following the shambolic reshuffle that saw Pravin Gordhan and his deputy, Mcebisi Jonas, removed from the Treasury. Zuma told the NWC that the reason he removed Gordhan was because his relationship with Gordhan had broken down and was “irretrievable”.
Duarte said ANC leaders had known all along that Zuma wanted to remove Gordhan.
“Did we know about it? Yes we knew for quite a while, but we did not know about the other people on the list. The president told us as far as November last year and that the relationship between himself and finance minister was not good. We persuaded him to wait a while,” Duarte told reporters.
She said Zuma consulted the top leaders about the reshuffle, contrary to Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, Mantashe and treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize’s public outcry last week that Zuma arrived with “a list compiled somewhere”.
– African News Agency