City Press reports that President Jacob Zuma and his backers have threatened those opposing the president, with their jobs.
The paper reported on Sunday that Zuma has told those who want him recalled that Parliament would have to be dissolved, as it was also nailed by the Constitutional Court judgment, which would threaten the job security of many MPs.
The president has faced growing opposition within the ANC in recent months, amid speculation of ‘state capture’ by the president, in conjunction with the Gupta family, his close friends and businessmen.
That growing sentiment swelled this week when the Constitutional Court of South Africa ruled that president Jacob Zuma failed to uphold, defend, and respect the Constitution as supreme law of land when it came to the handling of upgrades to his private home in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal.
Citing ANC insiders, City Press reported that if Zuma is recalled and a special conference is called, his supporters will mobilise for him to get a third term as ANC president.
The paper said that by the time the ANC’s top six met following the court’s judgment, those who were going to push for the decision had already sensed that they were not going to win.
Senior leaders said Zuma soke about the issue of stepping down, however, he outlined several severe consequences of such an action.
“The agreement was that it was better to do so after the local government elections to avoid playing into the hands of the opposition. He would not do it now. They advised him. He offered [to go]; no one objected, except that it could not be done on a whim,” said a senior leader.
In an address to the nation on Friday (1 April 2016), President Jacob Zuma said that he would respect the ruling of the Constitutional Court, and would pay a portion of the fees for Nkandla.
The president used his address to welcome the decision by the court, and to defend his actions surrounding the Nkandla matter.
Zuma said that he had always maintained that he would pay back the money – but relied on parallel processes to determine the amount he owed.
He said he never knowingly set out to violate the constitution – he simply followed a “different approach” which he understood to be legal at the time.
Following the top six meeting on Friday, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said calls by the opposition to have Zuma removed would see “the ANC tear itself apart”.
“My own view is that opposition parties are making the call knowingly; that it is a call for the ANC to tear itself apart,” he said.
The full article is contained in the Sunday 3, April 2016 edition of the City Press.
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