FIRST ON EWN: Netshitenzhe unsure if Zuma is still a great leader

Netshitenzhe says that the Constitutional Court's ruling on Nkandla underlined that SA is in a 'bad state'.

President Jacob Zuma addresses the National Assembly in Parliament. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - African National Congress (ANC) National Executive Committee (NEC) member Joel Netshitenzhe says that considering the Constitutional Court judgment on Nkandla, issues around state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and recent political developments, he can't say if President Jacob Zuma is still a great leader for the party and the country.

The ANC veteran spoke to Eyewitness News in an exclusive interview about a wide range of issues.

Netshitenzhe is seen as a prominent thinker in the ANC, having been part of its NEC for years, while also serving as a member of its economic transformation and political education subcommittee.

"The judgement of the Constitutional Court only about the person at the higher level of state power underlines that we are in a bad state."

Netshitenzhe was speaking about what even ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantshe acceded cost the party votes at the polls.

He says calls from some structures of the ANC for an early national congress, for self-correction, are technical.

Without mentioning Zuma's name, Netshitenze told Eyewitness News that he believes tough action must be taken by the ANC on its deployments in government.

"I'd say at this present moment, the jury is still out."

He added: "What is required is action on the part of the ANC and its deployees in government to practically demonstrate that the turnaround has started."


Netshitenzhe also believes that the party performed dismally during the local government elections because of arrogance and malfeasance in government.

The ANC shed eight percent of is support at this year's polls.

Netshitenzhe says he's not surprised.

"Society has been observing the malfeasance in government, the arrogance that manifests itself in ANC and in part society has delivered its judgement through the local government elections."

He says the ANC needs to take a look at itself.

"People are fighting around material possessions, that if not corrected, is one of the things that will destroy the ANC."

The veteran says if his party fails to self-correct, it will be digging its own grave.