President Zuma told his party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) that he’s haunted by those who are determined to have him jailed.
Speaking after NEC’s failed debate on whether or not to have him removed as requested by South African majority, defiant Zuma told the committee that he would never agree to calls for his resignation because if he does so, he would be handing himself over to the enemy.
President Zuma escaped another move to have him removed in a just concluded NEC vote which had precisely 34 members of the party, supporting the motion for his removal as the President of ANC and 30 on the other end, indicated that they want Zuma to remain their President. While about 14 others were yet to indicate their stand on the issue.
The grueling three-day battle over Zuma’s future was initiated by Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom. The meeting, scheduled to end on Sunday, was extended to Monday as opposing sides failed to reach a consensus.
Reacting to this move, the president said while addressing the committee that he is aware of those within the party who want to have him jailed since the time of the former president, Thabo Mbeki, and they will never stop.
“The president told us that he will never step down, as it would be like handing himself over to the enemy, and that there are people who want to see him in jail and they will never stop,” an NEC member reportedly said.
“The president told us these attempts come from far and that if he was the problem, he would consider stepping down. But Nkandla, corruption charges, and the spy tapes were created by the enemy,” the NEC source added.
Zuma was sacked as deputy president of the country on 14 June 2005, weeks after he was implicated in the corruption and fraud of his former financial adviser Schabir Shaik.
His corruption charges had increased since his assumption into Office as the SA president. This was heightened by a recently released State Capture report by former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.
A source inside the NEC meeting, however, said there was no voting on the motion as Zuma’s supporters regrouped to intensify their defence.
President Zuma on the other hand, is due to travel to Cuba on Tuesday to attend the funeral of late President Fidel Castro as indications that Zuma was winning the battle emerged late on Monday afternoon when he left the NEC meeting to meet with his Ugandan counterpart, Yuweri Museveni.