ANC believes ‘disciplined member’ Zuma will resign
During that live interview, Jacob Zuma said calls for him to resign are unfair because no one has been able to tell him what he's done wrong.
The party has now responded to President Zuma's interview with the SABC, saying his statement that he will not defy the party is a positive message.
ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe said: “It was a positive message to hear President Jacob Zuma saying that he won’t defy his party because he has led this party for years and years and he remains the leader that we all respect.”
Mabe says the ANC believes Zuma will act in the best interests of the party and the country.
“We have always expressed full confidence in all our members to be disciplined, understand the discipline of the movement because that is consistent with the oath that all members have taken."
The ANC says while there are parliamentary processes currently underway dealing with the matter, the country should give the president space to respond.
Mabe said: “And we believe that when he said he’s not defying [the ANC], he was effectively speaking in the context of that oath that gets to be taken by members of the African National Congress.”
He says the public should not speculate but wait for the official response from the president.
“And I think it’s only fair to grant him that space. Allow the statement to come out while we know that there are also these other processes that are being undertaken.”
Following Zuma's suggestions that violence will break out among ANC members if he resigns, Mabe says cadres of the ANC love peace and will do everything in their power to protect the movement in a cordial manner.
‘I DON’T WANT TO DEFY THE PARTY’
President Zuma says while he doesn't want to defy the party, he disagrees with its decision to remove him in a rush.
He has indicated that he is open to talks with party leaders from here on.
“In my response that I was going to be doing, I am also saying I am open to further discussion. But they are rushing [the process]. I am told now that tomorrow in Parliament there’s going to be a vote of no confidence. Nobody has even come to me to say ‘we are moving if you don’t move’. What is the rush? I’ve been asking this question all the time.”
He also used his deployment of soldiers to make a point, saying some decisions you don't take willy-nilly.
“I deployed soldiers to go and fight inside the country, if necessary, or if the circumstances become difficult to be arrested or killed. So, deploying cadres is what I know best. But I said to them there are two positions in the ANC. You can’t apply that willy-nilly. The deputy president of the ANC, the president of the ANC [sic].”
The president has also warned that if the party continues to deal with his removal the way it is, there will be a crisis.
He believes just like some ANC leaders left the party when Thabo Mbeki was recalled, the same could happen for the party, saying that could have major implications.
“That decision caused more problems for the ANC, not just a conflict. Some of the key members of the ANC left the ANC and formed an organisation called Cope. Because the manner in which you remove [the president]. I’ve been in the ANC for quite a while. I think I understand it very well.”
The president also warned of possible violence if he is pushed out of office.
WATCH: Jacob Zuma addresses the nation