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ANC heavily criticised on handling of Jacob Zuma's exit

ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule says that it was a 'collective decision' by the NEC to recall President Jacob Zuma.

ANC SG Ace Magushule briefs the media at Luthuli House on the NEC meeting that resulted in the decision to recall Jacob Zuma. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – The African National Congress (ANC) has been heavily criticised for its handling of President Jacob Zuma’s exit once again by allowing Zuma himself to decide when and how he deals with the national executive committee (NEC)’s decision to recall him.

ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule struggled to give the media some definitive answers on Tuesday about how the NEC is dealing with President Jacob Zuma’s departure.

What he did say, was that it was a “collective decision” by the NEC to recall him.

It’s also unclear when Zuma will make an announcement.

“When we recall our deployee, we expect our deployee to do what the organisation expects him to do. So, I don’t know what will happen but let’s leave it to president Jacob Zuma.”

Later, Magashule said that Zuma would respond by Wednesday.

Zuma had pleaded with the party to give him between 3 and 6 months to step down, citing the upcoming BRICS summit as one of the reasons.

WATCH: ANC NEC recalls President Zuma

Magashule said the decision to recall the president was not because of his legal challenges.

“We [the organisation] did not take this decision because Comrade Zuma has done anything wrong. We’re a political organisation… and still a liberation movement.”

The ANC Parliamentary caucus will be briefed on Wednesday.

Zuma was informed of the decision on Tuesday morning and Magashule said he will respond on Wednesday, although he was not given a deadline.

“There’s a resolution that officials must keep interacting with the president. The ANC, for now, has not put any motions of no confidence.”

The ANC says it’s certain that Zuma will respond on Wednesday, saying that they haven’t been dealing with a president who is “defiant”.

But it’s unclear if Zuma will step down.

At the same time, Magashule said they’ve given Zuma time and space to prepare his response.

Magashule said issues of economic growth need to be addressed among other things.

He also said that by recalling Zuma, the party is taking action.

POSSIBLE ANC, EFF NO CONFIDENCE MOTION

Political analyst Moeletsi Mbeki is warning that Zuma could well defy the ANC and not resign.

He said that Zuma's desire to stay on for the next three to six months could lead to his continued stay.

Mbeki said that might see the party joining in on the EFF's motion of no confidence in the president in an effort to oust him- with international investors watching closely.

“Zuma has told them that he won’t resign, he needs three to six months so I guess he will repeat that then the ANC will presumably go to the EFF and ask to partner with the EFF in a motion of no confidence.”

WHY IS ZUMA BEING RECALLED?

President Zuma is expected to either accept defeat and resign…. or defy the ANC.

The ANC doesn’t seem to have a clear answer on why it decided to recall President Zuma.

Magashule was asked countless times what reasons the party have to the president for his recall?

“The reasons for the recall was that we engaged and we’re looking forward to an amicable solution.”

Magashule then made this shocking statement.

“President Zuma has not been found guilty by any court of law. When we took these decisions, we didn’t do so because President Zuma has done anything wrong.”

So, if the president hasn’t done anything wrong, why is he being recalled?

Magashule said there will be further talks between Zuma and the top officials, raising confusion that the party has created a room for engagements with the president, despite saying it’s taken a final decision to recall him.

“We agreed that there should be continuing interaction between officials of the ANC and President Zuma.”

Magashule said they haven’t decided whether to charge Zuma if he defies the party and doesn’t accept the recall.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)

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