Like former finance minister Pravin Gordhan, axed minister Hanekom has played his cards close to his chest with regards to this future in the ruling party.
While Derek Hanekom has held his cards so close to his chest, he has, however, intensified his criticism of President Jacob Zuma, the African National Congress (ANC) and the current administration since his dismissal.
Last week, he shocked the ANC leadership and Zuma’s entire loyalists when he affirmed that President Jacob Zuma lied in his application to the Constitutional Court about the aftermath of his cabinet reshuffle.
Zuma had stated in his papers that ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa apologized during an ANC NEC meeting for publicly condemning his recent cabinet reshuffle.
Zuma’s claim triggered Mantashe’s counter-statement to the media. Therein, he insisted that he didn’t apologize to Zuma for speaking out against him.
Not long after Mantashe raised alarm, axed minister Hanekom took to Twitter and affirmed that Mantashe never apologized to Zuma, adding that neither did Ramaphosa.
On Tuesday, the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) called on the former minister to publicly apologize to the ruling party for his recent comment or face being recalled as ANC NEC member.
Hanekom was allegedly quoted in The Cape Times as saying that he is not sure whether he will vote for the ANC in 2019 while speaking at a Freedom Day rally in the Western Cape.
But his statement did not go down well with the youth wing of the ruling party. On Tuesday, the league via its spokesperson Mondli Mkhize called on the mother body (ANC) to call the daring comrade to order.
In a statement, Mkhize said: “Comrade Derek’s comment suggests that his vote for the ANC is dependent on who emerges as the ANC leadership in the elective conference this year in December. Secondly, Comrade Derek’s comments suggest that the ANC is less important than the individuals leading it.
There can never be an excuse for such a comment. We call on the ANC leadership to demand an immediate public apology, or comrade Derek must resign from the National Disciplinary Committee (NDC) and the NEC.
In reacting to ANCYL’s statement, Hanekom denied ever mentioning about voting in the 2019 election. He buttressed that he only expressed fear that the ANC might not receive more than 50% of votes if it fails to put its house in order.
“I didn’t say that, don’t know where they got that from. I made no mention of voting in 2019. I only said we have enjoyed more than 60% in 1994 and every election subsequently. If we were to vote now, we would not get 60% or we may not even get 50%. I don’t know where the ANCYL get their statement,” the former minister said.
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Last year, axed minister Hanekom launched a hard-hitting attack on Zuma during the party’s NEC meeting in Pretoria where he single-handedly tabled a motion of no confidence in President Zuma.
Although the cat with nine lives survived it unscathed, Hanekom was supported by a handful of ANC members except for Zuma’s ex-wife Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and some loyalists who insisted that the president deserves to finish his tenure.