Not all are in a hurry to say goodbye to President Jacob Zuma. Top Black Business Organization has joined few other South Africans to throw their weight behind President Jacob Zuma, asking him to remain in power.
The group made it clear that they still wanted President Zuma to stay on for his full term, saying anything else would amount to a coup.
A delegation who visited Zuma on Friday told him they were not in support of the growing calls for his exit despite being persuaded by by Sipho Pityana to join in a movement against him.
Black Business Council president Ndaba Ntsele revealed that Pityana, the chairman of AngloGold Ashanti, approached the organization to join a movement opposed to the president. The group also petitioned to swell the ranks of those opposed to the head of state.
“If you say he must go, you must say he must be replaced by Khumalo, Radebe or Ramaphosa. I guess maybe they know who they want but we don’t want to support populist ideas, ” Ntsele said
“We told him [Zuma] … the president [must] … remain in office until the end of his term. We said to him he was elected through ballot and must leave through the ballot.” he added.
Ntsele also claimed that Pityana had invited the Black Business Council to a meeting on Tuesday at which the movement would chart a way forward.
The council’s support for Zuma comes as pressure is mounting for him to resign after the ANC’s failed performance in the local government elections last month.
Parties including Zola Skweyiya, Mathews Phosa, and even Pityana have also joined numerous others to ask Zuma to vacate the Union Buildings to save the ANC from being ousted from power in 2019.
However, Ntsele stressed that these calls were driven by white business – the same people he claimed had pushed for former president Thabo Mbeki’s removal.
“We are not apologetic that we support him. There is a sense this is some sort of a coup. That’s not what we want to see in South Africa. We are an example in Africa. We should follow our constitution. Thabo Mbeki was recalled. Now people want to recall Zuma. Will we recall the next one?” he asked.
Ntsele said those calling for Zuma to go had not provided an alternative candidate’s name.
“If you say he must go, you must say he must be replaced by Khumalo, Radebe or Ramaphosa. I guess maybe they know who they want but we don’t want to support populist ideas,” he added.
Ntsele pointed put that the organization will always back Zuma because he supported them when they broke away from Business Unity South Africa and he had established the Department of Small Business Development.
No doubt, the Department of Trade and Industry’s black industrialist programme is another factor that has earned Zuma favour within the council.
The group, at its short visit to the state house, also lobbied Zuma not to sign the Financial Intelligence Centre Amendment Bill into law.
The bill proposes allowing banks to scrutinize the accounts of “politically exposed” persons.