South Africa 13.2.2018 02:44 pm

WATCH: Mbeki explains why he ‘accepted’ NEC decision to step down

FILE PICTURE: Former president Thabo Mbeki. (Photo by Gallo Images / Business Day / Puxley Makgatho)

FILE PICTURE: Former president Thabo Mbeki. (Photo by Gallo Images / Business Day / Puxley Makgatho)

The former statesman says adhering to an instruction from the NEC is expected, and it is normal behaviour for an ANC member.

The clock is ticking for President Jacob Zuma to step down after ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule and his deputy, Jesse Duarte, today delivered to his official Pretoria residence the governing party’s letter requesting Zuma to step down.

This follows Zuma’s refusal to resign voluntarily as state president after the NEC met yesterday and resolved that he should be recalled from office.

Zuma has clung to power with many South Africans anxiously anticipating the breaking news that he has resigned since the talks of the “transition of power” commenced just over a week ago.

Following Cyril Ramaphosa’s election as the ruling party’s president at the ANC’s December elective conference – narrowly beating ANC veteran Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma who was Zuma’s preferred presidential candidate – several analysts commented on the likelihood of Zuma’s removal as state president.

This, it was said, would be possible if the ANC decided to invoke the “two centres of power” rhetoric it used in 2008 when it recalled former president Thabo Mbeki. The former statesman was asked by the NEC to resign as the country’s leader following Zuma’s victory at the party’s elective conference in Polokwane the previous year.

Mbeki did not oppose the call made by the NEC at the time, so why is Zuma defying the ANC’s call to resign?

In a clip shared by EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, Mbeki talks about his decision to adhere to the NEC’s instructions.

In one segment of the just over a minute-long clip, he says: “So when the national executive committee of the ANC says, for whatever reason, we think that you should resign your position as president, so I said fine.”

Mbeki goes on to say that adhering to such an instruction is expected, and is normal behaviour for an ANC member.

He further says that had he not obeyed the call made by the party’s top leadership at the time, that would have gone against the “historical practices of the ANC”.

The view by many of the country’s citizens is that Zuma, in respecting his party’s morals, ethics and “historical practices”, could take a leaf from Mbeki and gracefully step down.

Watch the video below:

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