The African National Congress (ANC) has sent a stern warning to President Jacob Zuma that it will table a motion of no confidence to remove him from the office of the president if he disobeys the recall by the party.
ANC chairman Gwede Mantashe said the party hd done everything to negotiate a dignified exit for Zuma, but that he had continuously disobeyed and disrespected the party.
Speaking at the Umsobomvu Community Hall in Butterworth Tuesday as part of the continuation of the ANC's 106th birthday celebrations, Mantashe said the party will exercise one of its remaining options, which is to vote Zuma out through the motion of no confidence in Parliament.
"We have allowed him to make up his own mind to resign on his own, in order for him not to forfeit his benefits. When he refused to do so, we applied rule 12.1-2-1.2, which says ANC has the authority to deploy and recall and it is not a disciplinary process. We (ANC) are not charging you, but discharging a political decision to recall you," said Mantashe.
He said the ANC was forced to remove Zuma following the party's resolutions at its 54th national conference at Nasrec. "We took a decision at the conference to fight against corruption, looting and the state capture.
"We saw that it will be impossible to achieve this with two presidents. We then took a decision to ask the other one to retire," said Mantashe.
He described Zuma's defiance towards a negotiated exit as an act of ill-discipline.
Mantashe said: "As disciplined cadre of the ANC you are given a chance to resign on your own, but if you lack discipline you will resist. Once you resist we are going to let you be thrown out through the vote of no confidence because you disrespect the organisation and you disobey it, therefore we are going to let you be devoured by the vultures."
There were jubilations and applause as Mantashe addressed the matter of Zuma's exit.
He said the ANC National Executive Committee meeting on Zuma's future carried on until 4am on Tuesday morning and a letter recalling Zuma was sent to him by the party's secretariat.
He drew comparisons between the process of recalling former president Thabo Mbeki and Zuma, saying: "There was a president referred to as TM (Thabo Mbeki) from Dutywa. I have a lot of respect for him. When he was recalled he never resisted, he wrote his resignation letter the same day.
"He packed (his belongings) and went home without resisting and that earned him respect of the ANC structures. If Thabo Mbeki speaks ,the ANC listens."
However, he said the ANC was not going to support the motion of no confidence sponsored by opposition parties. The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has tabled a motion of no confidence against Zuma.
Mantashe said: "The worst thing that ANC can do is to vote with the opposition, the ANC must be able to do that motion about itself, for itself, but that decision will be taken when the caucus meets."
Although Zuma has survived eight attempts to remove him as the president, Mantashe said: "The difference is that he survived eight motions with the backing of the party but when the party says it is recalling you, you are losing that backing."
On Tuesday, the ANC officially recalled Zuma despite his pleas for an extended stay at the Union Buildings. In a press conference at ANC HQ Luthuli House in Johannesburg, ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule confirmed that the party's officials had communicated the NEC decision to the president.
- African News Agency (ANA)