Johannesburg – The Congress of the People (Cope) has accused President Jacob Zuma of insulting ANC stalwarts and national executive committee (NEC) members by claiming that white monopoly capital was behind calls for him to step down.Scores of well-respected stalwarts, as well as NEC members, have previously called for Zuma to step down."This is a very serious insult to well-respected stalwarts such as Professor Ben Turok, former minister of intelligence Ronnie Kasrils and Mavuso Msimang. It is also an insult to his own ANC NEC members who had tabled a vote of no confidence in him at the last NEC meeting," Cope said in a statement.Some of the party's stalwarts have also called for him to step down based on a decline in electoral support, allegations that his friends, the Gupta family, had undue influence on the state, and the damning Constitutional Court judgment against him.The ConCourt found that Zuma had failed to uphold the Constitution by failing to pay for non-security upgrades at his Nkandla home.Zuma also survived a motion by Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom for him to step down during the party's NEC meeting last month.On Wednesday night, Zuma told about 2 000 people attending an ANC Youth League lecture on economic freedom in Durban that he had heard news reports about an international business chamber calling for his resignation.'Zuma speaks without thinking'"And I realised to myself that I will never on my own resign because if I did so, I would be surrendering to monopoly capital," Zuma said, adding that he asked himself, "What had I done wrong?"In its statement Cope condemned the comments as irresponsible.The party said Zuma must tell the country and his own party if all the ANC veterans and ordinary card-carrying members and supporters who called for his resignation are part of "white monopoly capital"."It is very clear to us that Zuma just opens his mouth without thinking. He is not only insulting the political fraternity but the broader society. The majority of society is sick and tired of him. Is Zuma saying the religious leaders who called on him to step down are also part of white monopoly capital?"Cope spokesperson Dennis Bloem said Zuma must accept that his time is up and he must not try and defend the indefensible by blaming white monopoly capital for his "misjudgements".Cope also reminded Zuma that former SABC board chairperson Professor Mbulaheni Maguvhe had also refused to step down, but resigned on Monday."Where is he now? He is gone. Zuma will go whether he likes it or not," Bloem said.