Deputy Secretary-General of the ANC, Jessie Duarte, says that the ruling party does not support calls for Jacob Zuma to be recalled as president.
Speaking at a press conference Luthuli House headquarters in Johannesburg, Duarte said that the ANC is aware of several planned marches taking place on Wednesday.
An online campaign called #ZumaMustFall was created in the wake of a temporary meltdown in the country’s markets late last week, after president Zuma announced the sacking of finance minister Nhlanhla Nene.
The 17 financial and bank heavyweights in the JSE’s Top 40 index lost as much as R289 billion off their combined market capitalisation from where they closed before Nene’s axing on Wednesday night.
However, the index regained R118 billion on Monday following a second cabinet reshuffle which saw Pravin Gordhan, Nene’s former boss, reinstated in his old position.
The market rout started when Zuma removed Nene from his post on Wednesday evening after 19 months, without giving any reasons except to say that he would be switched to another key role.
His replacement was David van Rooyen, a lawmaker several analysts said they had never heard of.
Van Rooyen, who had been finance minister for only four tumultuous days, has swapped roles with Gordhan as Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.
At least four planned #ZumaMustFall marches are expected to take place on Wednesday, in Port Elizabeth, Johannesburg Pretoria, and Cape Town.
Wednesday is a public holiday in South Africa – Day of Reconciliation.
Duarte said that the ANC is aware of three marches taking place on Wednesday.
“We are aware of them. We know of three marches…all of these people have rights, they are citizens of this country. If they wish to march, that is their right to do so. It is the way they have chosen to express themselves. We obviously don’t support their call at all, as the ANC.”
“I can confirm that there was never any talk of a recall,” ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa told reporters.
Zuma a “bold leader”: ANC
President Jacob Zuma’s willingness to reconsider his decision to appoint David van Rooyen as finance minister demonstrated “bold leadership”, the ANC said on Tuesday.
“The president’s willingness to change deployment… demonstrated bold leadership bringing certainty and [assurance] to the finance portfolio,” Duarte told reporters.
She was giving feedback on a national working committee of the African National Congress, squashing rumours on social media that Zuma had been recalled as president.
ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said a number of hoax statements had been doing the rounds, saying Zuma had been recalled.
Zuma sacked Nhlanhla Nene last week, and appointed Van Rooyen as finance minister, but then after an outcry – both publicly and from within the ANC – removed Van Rooyen on Sunday and appointed Pravin Gordhan as the new finance minister.
With News 24