Claws come out as ANCWL defends Zuma

The ANCWL has called for a more 'objective' public protector and slammed those calling for Zuma’s removal.

An ANC Women's League member holds her fist in the air during a march to the Union Buildings in Pretoria in 2015, in defence of President Jacob Zuma. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The African National Congress Women's League (ANCWL) has issued a damning statement in which it reiterates its full confidence in President Jacob Zuma, lambastes the public protector, former finance minister Trevor Manuel, former Umkhonto we Sizwe generals and religious leaders who have all called for Zuma to step down.

The league has also called for a more objective public protector to be appointed, saying Thuli Madonsela has failed to investigate a report which implicates Absa in alleged apartheid era corruption worth billions of rands.

The league has questioned the coincidence of the Johann Rupert's Rembrandt Group being mentioned in the same report, saying the business people making the call have strong links to him.

The ANCWL statement is fiercely critical of Madonsela and private sector corruption, saying it will forgive but not forget the billions of rands allegedly stolen by big business during apartheid.

It says it is worrisome that Manuel has called for Zuma to step down and he has close links to the Rupert family.

The league alleges that Manuel's wedding to Maria Ramos was held at a Rupert wine estate, and the former finance minister pushed through the sale of Absa to Barclays, which is known to have funded anti-liberation raids and killings.

In response to a statement from religious leaders and former Umkhonto we Sizwe generals, the league says the groups are false religious prophets and veterans who have benefitted apartheid leaders.

It calls on the ANC's supporters not to be hasty in deciding what should happen, but rather search for the deepest of secrets to find the truth.

Last year, scores of women had marched to the Union Buildings in defence of Zuma's dignity. They called on members to respect Zuma as a man, and 'defend the revolution'.