President Jacob Zuma threatens ‘to retaliate’ if recalled: report

February 14, 2018
| Report Focus News
President of South Africa Jacob Zuma attends the 54th National Conference of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) at the Nasrec Expo Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa December 16, 2017. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

JOHANNESBURG. – President Jacob Zuma was “was very arrogant” and refused to resign when told by the ANC that its National Executive Committee (NEC) had resolved to remove him, AFP reported. 

“He told them he was not going anywhere as he did nothing wrong,” an unnamed ANC committee member told the Mail & Guardian.

“He told them if the ANC issued a statement on its decision to recall him, he will retaliate.”

Another source told the Times Live website that Ramaphosa had pleaded with Zuma to leave office, but President Zuma had responded “in no uncertain terms” that he would not resign.

Talk Radio 702 reported that President Zuma told the ANC to “do what you want to do.”

The ANC’s highest decision-making body between conferences — the NEC — made the decision to recall President Zuma after a 13-hour meeting held behind closed doors in Irene. 

At some point during the meeting ANC leader Cyril Ramaphosa and party Secretary-General, Ace Magashule, left the venue to inform President Zuma, who was at his official residence in Pretoria, of their resolution: either he resigns or they recall him.

Lawson Naidoo of the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (Casac) said that if President Zuma refuses to step down, the governing party’s next option would be to vote with the opposition in the motion of no confidence against the president in Parliament.

“I think it’s unfortunate that the matter has dragged for as long as it had. There’s been a clear statement from the new leadership of the ANC that they would like President Zuma to step down. So far they’ve been unable to persuade him to do so,” said Naidoo.

“If they cannot do so internally within the ANC, the next option is for them to support a motion of no confidence in parliament, assuming that the ANC has sufficient support for that such motion.

I think we have a motion of no confident scheduled for the 22nd of February. It’s up now to the speaker of Parliament to bring that forward as EFF has requested. The matter now is in the matter of Parliament to resolve this issue.”

An official announcement on the premature end to President Zuma’s scandal-ridden presidency is expected at midday with a briefing by the ANC at its Luthuli House headquarters. – AFP