ANC calls special extended NWC as divisions deepen over Zuma reshuffle

2017-04-03 17:53
Zizi Kodwa (Herman Verwey, Netwerk24)

Zizi Kodwa (Herman Verwey, Netwerk24)

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Johannesburg - The African National Congress has called for an urgent extended National Working Committee meeting, as divisions deepen following President Jacob Zuma's Cabinet reshuffle last week.

Spokesperson Zizi Kodwa confirmed that the meeting was called by the top six officials meeting on Monday. The extended NWC meeting will be held on Tuesday at 14:00.

The reshuffle that saw Pravin Gordhan fired as the minister of finance has plunged the party into a new crisis, with senior leaders openly differing over the decision.

Secretary general Gwede Mantashe slammed Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza for calling him and other leaders ill-disciplined for openly disagreeing with Zuma over the reshuffle without consulting the party leadership.

Mantashe was supported by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and treasurer general Zweli Mkhize, who both criticised Zuma for not consulting them.

"We are not asking for favours here. We are asking people to do what is right so that when you do things the organisation goes with you, otherwise there will be no ANC that contests elections and gives [power] over to an individual called a president or a premier. There is no such thing," Mantashe told News24 on Monday morning.

'Unity sacrosanct'

He said Mabuza did not know the party's policies, as the 2007 Polokwane conference took a resolution that the president, premiers and mayors would consult the party before changing their executives.

Mabuza said on Sunday that the president had powers to change members of his Cabinet.

The ANC Women's League and Youth League have praised Zuma for the changes.

The extended special NWC meeting will include provincial chairpersons and secretaries. Other ANC insiders have said the matter should be referred to the National Executive Committee, which is the highest decision making body between conferences.

"What is important is that leadership of ANC is talking to each other. We don't have an option but to build unity of the ANC. The unity of the party is sacrosanct," Kodwa told News24.

He said party leaders would not be discussing the reshuffle, as it was the president's prerogative, but they would be discussing what had transpired following the reshuffle.

"The leaders appreciate the difficulty we have all been going through over the two days, not only as the ANC, but also the country. We appreciate that there is expectation to give leadership," Kodwa said.

No confidence motion

However, Kodwa said the party would not be discussing the motion of no confidence put forward by opposition parties. This, despite threats that ANC members could vote in support of the motion.

Opposition leaders have claimed that they have received calls from ANC leaders, pledging to support the motion.

They have also dared ANC members to vote with their conscience.

Any motion of no confidence was not on the ANC agenda, Kodwa said.

Opposition leaders from the DA, EFF, Cope, UDM, IFP, and ACDP met on Monday to galvanise support for the motion, and have planned a day of action for April 12 to force Zuma to resign.

They have called on South Africans and civil society to support the protest at the Union Buildings.

Speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete said on Sunday that she had cut short her trip to Bangladesh to consult.

Opposition parties have threatened to take her to court if she does not urgently table the motion.

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Read more on:    anc  |  zizi kodwa  |  jacob zuma  |  politics

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