Opposition parties, alliance partners respond to Zuma recall
The DA and UDM have reacted to the ANC’s announcement that it has decided to recall President Zuma. The BLSA, Cosatu and the SACP have also responded.
JOHANNESBURG - The Democratic Alliance (DA) says unless President Jacob Zuma tenders his resignation, the African National Congress's (ANC) decision to recall him is meaningless.
DA leader Mmusi Maimane says the only way to get Zuma out of office is for Parliament to do so through a motion of no confidence.
The Economic Freedom Fighters' (EFF) motion of no confidence has provisionally been set down for next Thursday, but the party wants it to be brought forward.
The DA agrees that the motion must be debated sooner but speaker Baleka Mbete says she needs to consult first.
Maimane's spokesman Portia Adams said: "This does not remove him as president of the republic so it really doesn’t mean anything. This recall is an internal ANC resolution and nothing more. It has no effect whatsoever on President Jacob Zuma’s status as president of the Republic of South Africa.”
Inkatha Freedom Party chief whip Narend Singh supports the DA’s sentiments.
Singh said: “There is no definite timeframe or action and timeframe that the ANC has proposed, so it leaves us as opposition parties to continue with our request to have a motion of no confidence before the House as quickly as possible.”
It's unclear whether the EFF still plans to go to court after setting a 1 pm deadline for Mbete to reschedule the motion.
However, the United Democratic Movement has welcomed the ANC's decision to recall President Zuma.
Its leader Bantu Holomisa says: "Many questions have not been answered. Especially where the secretary-general says Zuma has done nothing wrong. The question is why are they recalling him?"
Holomisa says Zuma and his associates should now be investigated and charged.
"So we would like to demand that the police and all the criminal justice system must be allowed now to kick in and do their work without delay and also make sure that Zuma and his partners are charged for serious violation of our rules and regulations.
"All the culprits who have vandalised this country must be arrested and charged. We cannot take the word of the ANC to say 'nothing is wrong with Zuma, Zuma has done nothing wrong'.”
The Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) says it welcomes the ‘courageous’ decision by the ANC’s national executive committee to recall President Zuma after his refusal to voluntarily step down.
CEO of BLSA Bonang Mohale said: “The refusal to resign shows Mr Zuma, and his defenders and supporters are driven by nothing more than avarice, myopia and unbridled self-interest, and it demonstrates that he’s uniquely unfit to hold this important office.”
BLSA says the impasse over Zuma’s tenure has created debilitating uncertainty for the country’s economy as it has deferred important political calendar events including the delivery of the State of the Nation Address, which effectively opens Parliament, and has threatened the national Budget’s delivery.
The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) says it welcomes the decision to recall Zuma from office as the President of South Africa.
It says has also noted that the president has since refused to abide by the decision of the NEC and resign.
Cosatu says it is not surprised by Zuma’s defiance. The federation says Zuma along with his mercenary followers converted the Cabinet into a rent-seeking, docile and unaccountable caste.
It says Zuma has divided and humiliated the ANC on a number of occasions and weakened and almost dismantled the alliance. It says under his leadership, ANC behaved like a fanatical cult.
Cosatu says while the idea of not humiliating Zuma was gracious from the new leadership, the time has arrived for the ANC to stop ‘its undistinguished political theatre’ and put the country first.
It says it calls on the ANC to recall President Zuma using parliamentary processes and even if it means supporting the motion of no confidence that was tabled by the EFF.
Cosatu has urged the ANC to explore the possibility of charging Zuma and subjecting him to a disciplinary process for defying a constitutional structure of the ANC and bringing the organisation into disrepute.
The trade union's Sizwe Pamla said: “It can’t be that President Jacob Zuma is bigger than the organisation. We have had enough of his intransigence over the last couple of years. So we think that the NEC should just be decisive now going forward because this is starting to weaken the ANC.”
Cosatu Secretary-General Bheki Ntshalintshali says while there's no deadline for President Zuma to resign, he believes processes will move quickly within the ANC from here on out.
“We’ve also heard from the secretary-general that the State of the Nation Address will be delivered by President Ramaphosa, so [that is] a clear indication that in the next few days, things will happen very soon.”
The South African Communist Party (SACP) has also welcomed Zuma’s recall.
The SACP says the tasks at hand moving forward include dismantling the parasitic networks surrounding the state and the ANC.
The SACP’s Alex Mashilo says the decision was long overdue and that it will pave the way forward for the country.
“The decision should pave the way to a deep-going, decisive self-correction and greater ANC and alliance unity to revitalise democratic support from the lost ground towards greater heights.”
It says it is also important to deal decisively with corporate state capture and other forms of corruption.