While the president battles to survive the growing calls for his resignation, At least three SA Ministers and members of the cabinet have signified their support for his immediate removal from office.
The three members, namely: Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi and Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi led the league calling for the ANC national executive committee (NEC) vote to remove Jacob Zuma from office
Supported by the ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu, the SA ministers insisted that Zuma’s immediate removal will be for the general good, especially for the ruling party which is at the verge of losing its hold in the country.
The ANC NEC meeting, scheduled to end on Sunday, was extended to Monday as members of the committee got into a fierce battle on whether or not Zuma should be recalled.
BuzzSouthAfrica gathered that more than 30 people spoke for and against the “surprise” motion tabled by Hanekom for Zuma to step down on Saturday. It also gathered that those supporting the move for Zuma’s removal were lobbying for a secret ballot to determine the president’s fate.
Zuma was however, defended by three other SA ministers – International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane; State Security Minister David Mahlobo, and Agriculture Minister Senzeni Zokwana- who were of the view that Zuma’s removal will further deepen the party’s problems.
Zokwana at the time argued that the party had emerged wounded and split after former president Thabo Mbeki was recalled and warned that they should not do it again.
Zokwana’s defence of Zuma came as a surprise to most of the party members, as he was chairperson of the South African Communist Party – which has made a dramatic U-turn in its support of Zuma. Nxesi and Thenjiwe Mtintso, who also called for Zuma to step down, are also senior SACP members. Mtintso is a former deputy secretary-general of the ANC.
Zuma’s defenders also argued that the calls for Zuma to go could not resurface now, given the NEC’s previous decisions and that Madonsela’s state capture report was not conclusive and under review. Another NEC member argued that the NEC has never voted, but always decided by consensus and therefore the motion to vote should fail.
Meanwhile, the NEC, which was previously seen to be dominated by Zuma supporters, has until now taken no action against Zuma.
The committee accepted his apology following the Constitutional Court ruling in March that he had failed to uphold the Constitution by not implementing former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s remedial action to pay back some of the money spent on upgrades to his Nkandla home.