Zuma is ANC and ANC is Zuma – Motlanthe

Johannesburg – Given the frequency of indiscretions and wrongdoing by President Jacob Zuma, his departure from government would give the country the opportunity to create a new environment, his predecessor, former president Kgalema Motlanthe, said.

He made the comments in an interview with Talk Radio 702 on Wednesday. He also reflected on the state of both the ANC and the government.

"Indeed it would create a new environment, because each time there's a scandal involving the head of state, it's diverting the eyes of the nation away from the real issues," said Motlanthe responding to a question from the show's host.

"He just carries on, there is no atonement," said Kgalema of his successor. The former president said when caught on the wrong side of the law many prominent people just said sorry and moved on.

He also criticised the relationship between Zuma and the ANC.

"Each one of his mistakes and indiscretions, the ANC takes it upon itself to defend [him] as though he is the ANC," said Motlanthe.

Elective conference marred by court challenges

He is the ANC and the ANC is Zuma, the two are inseparable, added the former leader.

Motlanthe recently told the BBC that the ANC needed to lose power in order to realise the depth of the problems within the party and rid itself of corruption.

He once again shot down calls for him to enter the presidential race for the ANC presidency and spoke out against recycling leaders. He said he was instead willing to work with younger people who could take over the reins. The ANC will elect new leadership in December when Zuma steps down.

However, the road to the elective conference has been marred by court challenges involving opposing factions in provinces and regions over elective conferences. ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe recently communicated a decision to stop conferences from taking place after September 30.

"The audit of members has not been completed and I think it's too late in the day for that. It leaves me very worried," said Motlanthe.

The former president, who is usually guarded in his criticism of the incumbent and his government, said that he was speaking out showed that there was a deep crisis within the party.

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