The East African 29 May 2017
By PETER DUBE
- Top party officials debated the no-confidence motion against Zuma over the weekend.
- President Zuma told the leaders to stop criticising him in public as he would no longer remain silent.
- Some party officials including deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, secretary general Gwede Mantashe and treasurer Zweli Mkhize, have in the past disapproved President Zuma’s leadership in public.
South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma has warned his African National Congress (ANC) party officials not to “push him too far.”
The embattled leader was addressing the party’s national executive committee (NEC) in Pretoria on Sunday after surviving another attempt to have him to step down.
President Zuma has been facing mounting pressure from his party, the opposition and civil society over corruption scandals, Cabinet sackings and his handling of the economy.
The party’s top officials debated the no-confidence motion against him over the weekend.
After defeating the motion, President Zuma told the leaders to stop criticising him in public as he would no longer remain silent.
“I have been quiet because I don’t want to harm the ANC, so continue attacking me in the media and you will see,” he threatened.
President Zuma further told the NEC to desist from debating another no-confidence motion against him, saying he did not understand calls for him to step down now, while he has no intentions to stand for re-election in December.
Some party officials including deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, secretary general Gwede Mantashe and treasurer Zweli Mkhize, have in the past disapproved his leadership in public.
The motion against the president was tabled by the ANC’s policy guru, Joel Netshitenzhe, on Saturday.
Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, his deputy Joe Phaahla, former Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom, and NEC member Sue van der Merwe supported the motion.
President Zuma last November survived a bid to remove him from office tabled by Mr Hanekom, who he sacked from his Cabinet position in March this year.
Political analyst Protas Madlala said that President Zuma has survived the no-confidence motion because he has a significant number of supporters in Parliament.
“What surprises me is why the president is being asked to step down, whereas Thabo Mbeki [former president] was told in no uncertain terms to do so,” said Mr Madlala.