Zuma dodges bullet from ANC's integrity commission

2017-04-05 16:11
President Jacob Zuma.  (File, Netwerk24)

President Jacob Zuma. (File, Netwerk24)

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FULL BRIEFING: Relationship between Zuma, Gordhan irretrievable - Mantashe

2017-04-05 11:30

The ANC are holding a press conference regarding the notes about its NWC meeting that were 'erroneously' sent to the media last night. WATCH

Johannesburg - The ANC's integrity commission has withdrawn its letter asking for President Jacob Zuma to resign.  

Some members of the commission only read the letter during their meeting with Zuma on Monday, ANC deputy secretary general Jesse Duarte told journalists on Wednesday.

The letter thus did not represent a resolution of the committee and some members asked for it to be withdrawn, she said.

The letter was addressed to ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe and was leaked to the media on Monday.

In it, commission chair Andrew Mlangeni cited Zuma's decision to axe Pravin Gordhan as finance minister, during his Cabinet reshuffle on Thursday night, as one of the reasons for the call.

Duarte said Zuma and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa had since met the commission. Zuma would meet the commission again on Sunday.

The ANC was briefing the media on its extended national working committee (NWC) meeting which ended late on Tuesday night.

Mantashe denied that the commission had already called for Zuma to resign in December.

This meeting followed Zuma's reshuffle, which saw several performing ministers removed. In an unprecedented response, Mantashe, Ramaphosa and ANC treasurer general Zweli Mkhize criticised Zuma's removal of Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas.

The reshuffle indirectly influenced Standard & Poor’s decision to downgrade South Africa's sovereign credit ratings to junk status.

‘No limitations’

Duarte said the ANC’s senior officials were informed of Zuma's intentions to remove Gordhan, due to irreconcilable differences, but persuaded him against it in November last year.

Mantashe said ANC leaders were not aware of the other ministers on the chopping block.

"The list was given to us. We did not discuss it. We don't know where it was compiled, that's why we discussed consultation."

Zuma fired four other ministers and appointed seven new deputy ministers.

Ramaphosa called Zuma's decision "totally unacceptable". Mkhize said Zuma had created the impression that "the party was no longer at the centre".

Mantashe refused to comment on whether Zuma would remain president for the duration of his term. Zuma remained ANC president, he said.

"If you're asking if he is here to stay, you are asking a very loaded question."

Mantashe was vague when questioned about the unity of the ANC. Unity had to be earned, he said.

He described the NWC meeting as one of the best he had ever attended as all members were allowed to express their views.

"We had a long meeting. We said everything we wanted to say. We were candidly open to each other. There were no limitations on what we wanted to say."

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

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