Zuma: Call for me to resign unfair, SA being plunged into crisis

In an interview with the SABC, President Jacob Zuma said no one has been able to tell him what he's done wrong.

President Jacob Zuma briefs the nation on his decision after the ANC NEC decided to recall him. Picture: YouTube screengrab.

JOHANNESBURG - President Jacob Zuma says he will not resign.

Zuma has broken his silence, saying no one has been able to tell him what he's done wrong.

In an exclusive live interview with the SABC a short while ago, he said the call for him to resign is unfair.

“And of course, I asked as to what was the problem. Why must I be persuaded to resign, have I done anything wrong? And of course, the officials couldn’t provide what I have done.”

Zuma says some African National Congress (ANC) leaders have been speaking to the media, fuelling the calls for him to resign.

He says he thinks South Africa is being plunged into a crisis and that his ANC comrades might regret their decision.

He's also hit out at those who've raised concerns about two centres of power, saying they don't know what they're talking about and there's no problem.

Zuma says he doesn't understand why the country is spending more time discussing his exit from office, rather than policy.

“The only difference is that now some of the people who were part of those who were raising the issues, they are part of the leadership.”

The interview was not announced through official channels.

WATCH: Jacob Zuma addresses the nation


Zuma told the public broadcaster that at no stage did the top six communicate with him what he had done to deserve a recall.

“And I found it very, in a sense, unfair, very unfair to me that this issue must be raised all the time. And it’s just two months after the national conference.”

He says he agreed to meet ANC leader Cyril Ramaphosa last week to have discussions to ease tensions within the party.

He's confirmed he proposed stepping down after June. He says the timeframe for his resignation was meant to create certainty and unity.

Zuma says he's open to discussion but he believes the ANC is rushing. He thinks there should be a transition of power before he goes.

“Then the president will then lead the organisation in the campaign and part of the reason that was done because he would need that time to do so.”

In the live interview, which was broadcast on international platforms like CNN, BBC and Sky News, Zuma also said he tried to protect Thabo Mbeki before he was recalled.

“When the ANC discussed this matter I am one of those who was, in fact saying, we should not recall comrade [former] president Mbeki because we’d be creating a bad precedent. If at all we were not happy, I said let’s talk to him and work out an arrangement, how is he going to perform his duties that would not make people feel uncomfortable.”

But Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema says Zuma is lying about opposing Mbeki's recall.

Malema made the comment on Twitter, saying the president "is talking rubbish" and that it was, in fact, Ramaphosa who opposed the recall.

The EFF leader says that Zuma told him that they should remove Mbeki because he couldn't work with him.

Meanwhile, the ANC has responded to Zuma's address, saying it awaits the release of a statement by him.