Zuma can’t just do as he pleases: SACP

The South African Communist Party’s (SACP) deputy secretary general Solly Mapaila says that the party rejects the notion that president Jacob Zuma can simply do as he pleases, saying that he is an elected official that is mandated to serve the interests of the ANC and its alliances.

Speaking in a press conference on Thursday, Mapaila told media that he was forced to ‘set the record straight’ after a number of ‘selective leaks’ of confidential talks that happened over the past few days.

Numerous reports, citing unnamed sources, said that president Jacob Zuma had met with leaders of the SACP and the ANC, declaring his intention to reshuffle his cabinet and fire finance minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas.

The leaks said that the SACP and ANC officials expressed ‘opinions’ on the matter, but agreed that it was Zuma’s constitutionally mandated prerogative to do as he pleases.

The news sent South African markets crashing, with the rand tanking over 6% after reaching 20-month highs on Monday.

Mapaila confirmed that Zuma had approached the SACP with his plan to remove Gordhan and replace him with Brian Molefe – but said that the SACP rejected the proposal completely.

According to reports, Zuma was basing his decision to fire Gordhan on a so-called “intelligance report”, which claimed that the minister and his deputy were approaching international bankers with the intent of undermining the presidency.

Mapaila confirmed that such a report exists, but rubbished it as a false report, saying that it was a trend for such information to be gathered illegally and presented to threaten or intimidate comrades into submission.

“The Constitution affords the President the responsibility to appoint Cabinet – but he is a deployee of the ANC, and has to implement ANC mandate,” Mapaila said.

“The ANC is in an alliance, and it has an obligation to consult alliance members in exercising the political power collectively struggled for. The SACP rejects this emerging paradigm on a presidential prerogative devoid of collective oversight,” he said.

The prerogatives of the president cannot be used to serve self-interests, and false intelligence reports cannot be used to divide the movement, the Mapaila said, adding that the SACP has laid a formal complaint with the inspector general and minister of intelligence.


Read: Zuma’s plan to fire Gordhan and replace him with Molefe revealed: report

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Zuma can’t just do as he pleases: SACP