The ANC in Gauteng has called on President Jacob Zuma to “do the right thing”, saying they believed his apology was just the “beginning of dealing with the political damage and mistrust caused by the mismanagement of the Nkandla matter”.
In a statement, it called on Zuma to “reflect deeply and do the right thing to resolve the unprecedented crisis that the ANC currently faces”.
Provincial secretary, Hope Papo, said the provincial executive committee (PEC) believed the ANC had already paid a price during the 2014 elections due to, among others, the anger of the electorate about the Nkandla matter.
“As the ANC we have to do a deeper introspection and take far-reaching decisions that will repair the damage to our image and to continue to enjoy the confidence and trust of our people,” said Papo.
Earlier, however, a source told News24 the ANC in Gauteng had in fact resolved that Zuma should step down. This was not officially confirmed by the party and the statement did not go so far as to call for his removal.
There has been a growing civil society campaign for Zuma’s removal following a Constitutional Court judgment that found Zuma had acted inconsistently with the Constitution when he did not follow recommendations from the Public Protector that he pay for non-security upgrades to his Nkandla homestead.
Below are the remaining list of ANC provincial executives and where they stand on Zuma’s removal:
The Free State province stands 100% behind Zuma.
An attack on President Jacob Zuma is an attack on the whole of the ANC, provincial executive committee member and education MEC Tate Makgoe said on Tuesday.
“We have never seen a leader with humility like Zuma. We have never seen the most powerful [and] respected person coming in front of South Africans – young and old – black and white and said he made a mistake,” said Makgoe.
KwaZulu Natal has rejected calls for Zuma to step down.
“We strongly reject with [the] contempt it deserves the call by our legendary opponents and those within our ranks, including some religious leaders, for the President to step down. This coalition against President Zuma has naked intentions to weaken and tarnish the glorious image of the ANC as the leader of the national democratic revolution,” ANC provincial secretary Super Zuma said in a statement.
He called on Zuma to focus on his important tasks of leading South Africans on a “journey to a national democratic society”.
“These masses fully understand that whatever the setbacks of the moment, nothing can stop our movement from its historic tasks.”
In an interview with News24, it also hit out at the ANC in Gauteng, saying it was “mischievous” for issuing a statement calling for President Jacob Zuma to “do the right thing” following the recent Constitutional Court ruling on Nkandla.
“We will not entertain the possibility of a replacement for President Jacob Zuma, that is not only ill-discipline, it is also mischievous,” said ANC provincial spokesperson Mdumiseni Ntuli.
The ANC in the Western Cape said that at a special PEC meeting recently the decision was taken to discuss the ConCourt matter at the scheduled PEC meeting a week after the Manifesto launch. The ANC is holding its manifesto launch ahead of the local government elections in Nelson Mandela Bay this weekend.
It was only after this meeting that the ANC in the Western Cape would submit its position on the matter to secretary general Gwede Mantashe.
The ANC in the North West has not publicly communicated its stance on the Nkandla judgment and what it believed the party should do but it was expected that the province would stand behind Zuma.
The ANC in Mpumalanga said it accepted Zuma’s apology and its “structures are at peace with that”.
The provincial executive committee and all regional executive groups met on Tuesday to discuss the Nkandla judgment, and would brief their branches following this.
“We are proud of our branches that there is not a single branch which decided to break the ranks and started to jump the gun,” provincial secretary Mandla Ndlovu said.
The PEC was going to engage with alliance partners and society.
“We are ready to support the ANC and its leaders. We call all leaders and former leaders, Masupatsela and all those who are representing themselves to express their views in the formal ANC gatherings. During their time we did not write open letters to express our views, we walked into their offices.”
The provincial working committee met on Monday and supported the decision of the national working committee to accept Zuma’s apology and its decision not to recall the president. But it said it would still consult all its structures, alliance partners, civil society, traditional leaders and religious organisations.
Sources within the ANC told News24 that the province was conflicted about whether it should support Zuma’s removal. A special provincial general council will take place on April 23 to discuss a way forward.
Following a special PEC meeting on April 3, the ANC Eastern Cape said after “exhaustive deliberation”, it “whole-heartedly” endorsed and welcomed Zuma’s apology.
“We accept that [the] President demonstrated humility and acted in good faith. The apology by the president displays the ANC character of respect and unprecedented courage,” it said in a statement.
It also said it rejected any notion of state capture.
“Any attempt by any individual, family and business groups to seek undue influence on state must be totally rejected with the contempt it deserves.”