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Zuma’s removal was not culmination of a plot - ANC

Derek Hanekom said the meeting was not a big deal because the ANC had taken an official position to oust Jacob Zuma through a motion of no confidence in Parliament.

Former President Jacob Zuma at the state capture commission on 15 July 2019. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The African National Congress (ANC) Presidency has come out to clarify that the removal of former President Jacob Zuma from office was a decision of the party’s NEC and not a culmination of a plot.

Zuma tweeted earlier on Thursday that the revelations about Derek Hanekom and his admission that he met with opposition leaders to discuss a motion of no confidence in him in 2018 were part of a plot by intelligence agencies to get rid of him.

The ANC has defended secretary-general Ace Magashule’s statement in which he described Hanekom as a charlatan and a wedge driver, saying action must be taken against him.

When Zuma appeared before the state capture commission last week, he claimed his removal from office as president was part of a plan by foreign and local agencies to assassinate his character and get rid of him.

But President Cyril Ramaphosa’s spokesperson in the ANC Sibongile Besani said that decision to force Zuma out of office was a party decision.

“The recall of Zuma is not a product of a plot from where we stand as the ANC, it’s a product of an internal debate within the ANC itself.”

But he said as the Presidency, they shared Magashule’s sentiments on Hanekom.

“If members of the ANC sit in a dark corner and plot against the president of the ANC, that is a problem and it’s unwarranted.”

The ANC also said he has to appear before the party’s disciplinary committee as well as the integrity commission because his admission that he met with Economic Freedom Fighters leaders to discuss Zuma’s ousting was serious and must be addressed.

Hanekom said the meeting was not a big deal because the ANC had taken an official position to oust the former president through a motion of no confidence in Parliament.

When Magashule released his fiery statement on Wednesday night, some within the ANC - sympathetic to Hanekom - believed it would either be recalled or that some leaders of the ANC would distance themselves from it.

But as ANC spokesperson Dakota Legoete explained, the party was right behind Magashule.

“It cannot be taken for granted and brushed down because it’s in contravention of the constitution of the ANC.”

Legoete said Hanekom he must be held to account.

“These particular allegations are very serious and I think Hanekom needs to be answerable in his capacity as a leader and as a former chair of the ANC’s disciplinary committee.”

Even President Ramaphosa’s office at Luthuli House said it agreed with Magashule’s statement, saying discussing the ousting of a sitting president with the opposition was very serious and unwarranted.

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