"If we can’t do the right thing‚ we must offer to resign" - Mantashe while calls for Zuma's removal intensifies
Cape Town – "If we can’t do the right thing‚ we must offer to resign. If you can’t do that‚ you are failing Oliver Tambo."
These were the words of ANC national chairperson Gwede Mantashe on Friday when he spoke at a wreath-laying ceremony in honour of Tambo at the OR Tambo Memorial in Wattville, Ekurhuleni.
This, while calls for President Jacob Zuma to resign or to be removed as president, have intensified.
Mantashe also said newly elected ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa won't steal, because he is rich.
While the machinations to offer Zuma a "graceful exit", instead of facing another motion of no confidence, has been continuing behind the scenes, it spilled into the public sphere this past week, with often contradictory reports from the media.
On New Year's Eve, a Twitter user tweeted: "My leader please raise the motion again on the 10th. #ANCNEC"
"Perhaps I am naive, but I am hoping that some sanity will prevail, and the sensible and honourable thing will be done before the 10th," senior ANC member Derek Hanekom, who led a motion to remove Zuma as president in the ANC NEC in November 2016, responded.
Hanekom was then taken to task on Twitter by fellow NEC member and Communications Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane for discussing the matter on social media.
On Thursday, The Star reported that Zuma has been given a deadline to step down before the ANC's upcoming NEC meeting on January 10, failing which, Hanekom will lead a motion of no confidence in Zuma.
On Friday, the Citizen reported that Hanekom said he would not bring such a motion.
Hanekom did not respond to News24's enquiries on the matter.
As the news of Hanekom's denial broke, the rand weakened slightly, Fin24 reported.
It was also reported that a motion of no confidence would not be discussed at the upcoming NEC meeting but, when asked about this, ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa simply responded: "The NEC can discuss anything".
Apart from a motion of no confidence, a so-called impeachment motion will also be mooted after last week's decision of the Constitutional Court. In a majority judgment, the court ruled that Parliament failed to hold Zuma to account and it must put measures in place to do so.
Impeachment proceedings will take longer than a motion of no confidence and requires a two-thirds majority in the National Assembly, compared to a motion of no confidence's simple majority.
Vote of no confidence
Two days after the ANC's 54th conference concluded, Zuma filed his appeal to the ruling of the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria that he should appoint a judicial commission of inquiry into state capture, with Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng responsible for appointing its head. The conference adopted a resolution that the appointment of the commission must be expedited.
NKC Africa Economics said in a statement, while talks to oust Zuma purportedly started at the ANC's conference, the nail in the coffin was said to have been the latest Constitutional Court, finding that Parliament failed to hold him accountable on the Nkandla matter.
"A vote of no confidence would therefore give Ramaphosa's supporters the opportunity to test their strength in the NEC, as Zuma is seen to be at a low point, following the Constitutional Court ruling and Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma's loss to Ramaphosa," the statement read.