I won't retract 'ANC comes first' comment - Zuma

By Drum Digital
09 December 2015

President Jacob Zuma has again refused to retract his "ANC comes first" comment.

In a written parliamentary question, Congress of the People leader Mosiuoa Lekota wanted to know if Zuma would unreservedly retract the specified statement and apologise to the nation for devaluing the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa.

In his reply, published on Wednesday, Zuma again reiterated that he had been speaking to the African National Congress as the party president, and not as the head of state.

"The statement I made does not devalue the Constitution of the Republic in any way, nor does it contradict the Oath of Office which I took when I was sworn in as the President of the Republic of South Africa. There is therefore no reason to retract the statement I made," he said.

Zuma said it was important that the work of building the ANC into a stronger organisation, that could continue to lead society, was vigorously pursued.

"There is therefore nothing wrong or untoward in saying the ANC comes first. It does not mean I love my country any less. It is, in fact, because of the love of my country and my commitment to its success that I believe that the ANC should be stronger so that it can lead us to a united and prosperous society," said Zuma.

He came under fire for saying the ANC came first at an elective congress in KwaZulu-Natal in November.

The president also refused to discuss anything in relation to the remedial actions recommended in the Public Protector's report, Secure in Comfort, which related to spending public money on upgrading his Nkandla homestead.

Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane asked: "In the light of the Supreme Court of Appeal's finding on 8 October 2015, in the Hlaudi Motsoeneng case and the implications the specified court's finding has for the powers of the Public Protector, what action is he going to take to comply with the remedial actions contained in the Public Protector's report Secure in Comfort?"

Zuma said he could not respond as the matter was still in court, and was due to be heard in February next year.

"As the honourable member might be aware, various applications dealing with the nature and scope of the remedial actions of the Public Protector, amongst others, are currently pending before the Constitutional Court," he said.

"I, therefore, would not like to comment further on a matter that is before the court of law."

Source: News24

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