Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba says the African National Congress expects President Jacob Zuma to do the right thing by tendering his resignation today as the country’s head of state.
This after the ANC confirmed on Tuesday that its national executive committee (NEC), the governing party’s highest decision-making structure between national conferences, resolved to recall Zuma from office following a marathon meeting on Monday of the top structure at St George Hotel in Irene, near Pretoria.
“I think what we expect now is that the deadline which has been set for the president by the NEC is for tomorrow [Wednesday]. We expect that he is going to do the right thing‚ as the NEC expects,” Gigaba said in an interview with CNN on Tuesday evening.
Should Zuma fail to obey the ANC’s call for him to step down, Gigaba warned that the party would use the vote of no confidence in parliament to remove him from the Union Buildings. He said when former president Thabo Mbeki was recalled in 2008 by the ANC, he did “the right thing” by accepting the party’s wishes as a cadre of the ANC.
“If that doesn’t happen‚ the NEC has put in mechanisms to address that situation… Should he continue to refuse [to step down]‚ we would then have to resort on a parliamentary process that‚ with a 62% majority and the support of other opposition parties‚ we are certain to pass,” he said.
Gigaba – who has been associated with Zuma’s camp in the ANC – said he supported the view that the president needed to step down immediately to allow the new party leadership under Cyril Ramaphosa to manage the transition process.
“I’m fully supportive of the measures that are undertaken‚ particularly because they are going to bring about much-required political certainty and policy certainty that we need to get the South African economy growing beyond the levels at which it’s growing at the present moment,” he said.
Gigaba added that since Ramaphosa was elected ANC president in December, the local economy has seen positive signs of growth. He also confirmed that the annual budget speech, scheduled to be delivered next week Thursday in parliament, would go ahead regardless of who will be the country’s president at the time.