Those who have made repeated calls for President Jacob Zuma to step down should apologise to him, said African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) secretary-general Njabulo Nzuza on Tuesday.
In an interview with News24, Nzuza said the recent marches to the Union Buildings by opposition parties and civic groups demanding Zuma’s resignation after his much-criticised Cabinet reshuffle on March 30 were meant to destabilise the ruling party, and even if Zuma were to be removed, his successor would also face criticism.
“I think we honestly owe president Zuma an apology. He was insulted in the streets of Pretoria,” Nzuza told the news website.
He said the renewed calls for the president’s resignation were fuelled by fears about the impact of the reshuffle, which saw Pravin Gordhan and Mcebi Jonas fired from Treasury, would have on markets and the local currency.
But he said there was no need for Zuma to leave office, as the rand had stabilised since the announcement of the changes to the national executive.
“The rand has shown strength. What then today is the argument for Zuma to go, because he has not collapsed the markets?”
“People were saying this man [Zuma] is collapsing our economy on the basis that the rand will tumble, it will go down, investor confidence will go down, people will get poorer, we are turning into Zimbabwe; things are going to get very bad. A couple of weeks later there is financial stability in the country, financial markets are stable,” he said.
Nzuza also rejected calls by some members of the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) for the party to convene a special meeting of the structure to debate Zuma’s future. He criticised the ANC for permitting some in the “collective” to position themselves as individuals.
He said a previous extended meeting of the party’s national working committee had expressed its approval for the Cabinet reshuffle, and the NEC would also likely approve of Zuma’s decision as well.