Jackson Mthembu: ‘Like In Zimbabwe, SA Needs A Bloodless Correction’


Amid calls for the long-serving Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe to step down, a top official of the African National Congress Jackson Mthembu is calling on other top party officials to ensure that Jacob Zuma is made to step aside as well.

The ANC Chief Whip who was being interviewed by Reuters, whoever becomes President after the National Conventions of December needed to do much to ensure Zuma stands down as head of state.

This, according to him, would be in the best interest of South Africa as a nation and for the ruling party in particular as it would give room for the party to clean up its act.

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South Africa’s ruling ANC should get President Jacob Zuma to stand down as head of state after a party conference next month because, like Zimbabwe, the country urgently needs a change of leader, a senior ANC official said.

Jackson Mthembu also claims that the integrity of the ANC has been marred by series of corruption scandals which have tarnished its image ahead of the December conference at which it will elect Zuma’s successor.

The ANC could learn from what was happening in Zimbabwe, where the ruling Zanu-PF party is pushing for President Robert Mugabe to leave his post, he said,

“You can’t keep him there,” he said.

“In Zimbabwe, they call that bloodless correction … We need to make the corrections immediately after the conference. How do you effect those corrections in government when the same person who might have contributed to a better degree still sits?” Mthembu asked.

Zuma’s second term as president would in 2019, but he could be forced out as head of state by the ANC’s new leadership before his term ends just is it was with former president Thabo Mbeki.

Despite strong calls for a quick power change both in the ANC and in the country at large, Zuma still seems to have strong support in the party particularly from the strong influence of the Women’s youth league of the party as well as support from rural areas, where several tribal chiefs back the traditionalist leader.

Jackson Mthembu, however, said if the ANC failed to emerge from its December conference with a new image it was “doomed”.

“It’s us who got South Africa into this mess by electing Zuma to be president. We should have looked closely into the man. With hindsight we made a terrible error of judgment,” he said.

The ANC stalwarts and veterans also have called for President Jacob Zuma to step down with immediate effect.

The stalwarts resolved so during their national consultative conference which was held over the past three days in Braamfontein.

The meeting had the likes of the former President Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe in attendance. Other who attended the conference include several National Executive Committee members, in their personal capacity.

The ANC presidential hopeful Lindiwe Sisulu, Deputy Minister of Agriculture Bheki Cele and Deputy National Assembly Speaker Lechesa Tsenoli was also in attendance.

They discussed issues ranging from the state of the economy, leadership in the ANC, electoral reform, and challenges the country was experiencing in its attempt to build a non-racial society.

However, the recurring concern for delegates in the room remained Zuma’s protracted stay as head of the ANC and the country.

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ANC supporters mostly focused their attention on the issue of leadership; even as the different commissions gave report backs and asked for input.

“There is no leadership crisis, we just elected the wrong leaders,” Deputy Minister of Energy Thembi Majola said from the floor, during the conference.

ANC Chief whip Jackson Mthembu says South Africa should take a leaf from Zimbabwe and their bid to correct their mistakes through a bloodless coup.