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ANC: No discussions around Zuma to step down

The ANC says while it’s disappointed with its poll results, Zuma can’t solely be blamed for the outcome.

African National Congress (ANC) members at the party's National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting in Irene, Tshwane. Picture: ‏@MYANC.

JOHANNESBURG - The African National Congress (ANC) says there were no discussions around President Jacob Zuma stepping down or being recalled at its recent National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting.

Leaders met over four days in Centurion to discuss the party's performance in the municipal elections.

The ANC said while it's disappointed by a decline in support at the polls, the president can't solely be blamed for the outcome.

ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe says the NEC has chosen not to engage in finger-pointing but to take collective responsibility for election results.

Mantashe said there were no discussions about Zuma stepping down.

"The proposal of the president to step down, that proposal didn't arise. I'm being honest with you. The call for the president to step down didn't arise."

While there have been widespread calls for the president to be recalled, the ANC says while it does listen to members of the public, listening doesn't mean it should stop analysing matters before making decisions.

FOCUS ON ELECTIONS PERFORMANCE

Mantanshe said the NEC's sole focus was the results of their performance in the 2016 municipal elections.

He said its performance in the elections is a setback in the agenda of transformation.

"The ANC views this outcome as a clarion call of the people to liberation movement to urgently take steps to speed up the programmes of change and rectify many matters affecting its capacity to play a historic role. This has to start with a serious objective and robust introspection within the movement itself, starting with the leadership at all levels."

The party said it has clearly heard the message its voters are sending and will address their concerns.

Mantashe said the party is disappointed by its decline in support and wants to address the factors that have led it to this point.

He said there are certain negative perceptions of the ANC which must be addressed.

"The perceptions of the ANC being arrogant, self-serving and being soft on corruption [must be addressed]."

The secretary general said overall, this four-day meeting has allowed the ANC to have an honest and thorough assessment of the election outcome.

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