'You can't just walk away' - Gwede to ANC's NEC

2016-11-29 22:08

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WATCH: Jacob Zuma's nine (okay ten) lives

2016-11-29 16:09

Following an ANC National Executive Committee meeting, the NEC announced on Tuesday that it rejected the call for President Jacob Zuma to step down. Here is a timeline of Zuma's 'escapes'. Watch. WATCH

Johannesburg – Mass resignations from the ANC’s NEC following a failed bid to get President Jacob Zuma to step down will have dire consequences for the party, secretary general Gwede Mantashe warned on Tuesday.

“You think you can just walk away when you like? There is no party that can work that way,” Mantashe told reporters in Johannesburg.

He was responding to a question about whether some Cabinet members might step down after the attempt to have Zuma unseated as party leader was thwarted by the party’s national executive committee (NEC), which met in Pretoria from Saturday to Monday.

Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom reportedly proposed that Zuma step down as leader of both the party and country. He apparently had the backing of NEC members including Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi and Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi.

Pundits had seen the move as one of the most difficult tests Zuma faced within the ANC since coming into power in 2007. Several ministers stepped down the following year, when the ANC recalled Thabo Mbeki.

“In 2008, there were mass resignations. We called all to remain in their post. At the end of the day, eight ministers and deputy ministers left and all went to Cope,” Mantashe said.

Mantashe questioned how mass resignations would work.

“Mass resignations of ministers who are given a task by the ANC, will they resign from the task but remain members of the ANC? Or will they be giving up membership of the ANC?"

He said the move would have dire repercussions for the movement.

“There will be massive consequences because we are a movement. We are not a pretentious organisation of people pulled together by their conscience,” Mantashe said.

Read more on:    anc  |  gwede mantashe  |  jacob zuma  |  politics

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