The African National Congress (ANC) General Secretary Gwede Mantashe confirms, President Jacob Zuma was called to step as the President of the Republic during the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting this part weekend.
ANC NEC Statement:
- There was a call made in the NEC for the President to consider stepping down as President of the Republic. This we considered to be part of a broader discussion characterized by the restlessness manifesting itself in society, where certain sections have made similar calls.
- A number of members of the NEC were of the view that the ANC should listen to this call. Various contributions in support of and against the appeal to President to step down were raised. Many more were neither in favor nor against the appeal but emphasized the need for unity within the organization.
- The NEC sought to have a detailed analysis of the consequences of removing the President; appreciating that some calls, especially those made by the opposition, are not so much about removing the President by rather dislodging the ANC itself from power.
- The NEC concluded the matter by recommitting itself to focus on the task at hand and what our people expect from us. Implementing, refining and advancing policies that solve their problems of inequality, poverty and unemployment as we move towards the National Policy Conference. We must also focus on ensuring unity and stability of the organization as part of leadership transition at the 54th National Conference.
- Flowing from this difficult discussion, our branches are now directed to focus on their primary tasks, work together and ensure the ANC impacts positively on society.
- The NEC discussed at length the need to reconnect with sectors of society that are drifting away from the movement. This is particularly important for those have been traditional allies of the broad liberation movement including some traditional leaders and sections of the faith based community led by, amongst others, the South African Council of Churches (SACC). We are aware and appreciate the need for decisive action from the ANC indicating renewal and our commitment to deal with issues that bring the organization into disrepute.
- To this end, the NEC has welcomed the ongoing interactions with the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (CONTRALESA) and traditional leaders in general. We have also committed to continue engagements with the SACC as part of broader societal dialogue on the challenges facing South Africa.