By Mmusi Maimane
Following this week’s explosive revelations by senior ANC members pertaining to President Zuma’s dubious relationship with the Gupta family, the ANC’s National Executive Committee (NEC), the party’s highest decision making body, ought to do the honourable thing during its sitting this weekend and recall President Zuma from his position with immediate effect. The ANC cannot continue to protect Jacob Zuma at the expense of the poor and the 8.2 million jobless South Africans. South Africa deserves better.
It is becoming clear that the ANC is no longer interested in the people of South Africa. Their President has been captured by the Guptas, and he in turn has captured the state. South Africa no longer belongs to all who live in it – rather it now belongs to a select clique of politically connected people.
Earlier this week, the former chair of Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises, Vytjie Mentor, publically revealed that she was offered the job of Minister of Public Enterprises by the Guptas on one condition: she “drops the SAA flight-route to India and give to them”. Mentor further alleges that President Zuma was on the Guptas Saxonwold premises at the time, in a room next door.
Mentor’s utterances have led to several ANC members speaking out on similar encounters with the Guptas, including Deputy Finance Minister, Mcebisi Jonas, Public Service and Administration Minister, Ngoako Ramathlodi and former Public Enterprises Minister, Barbara Hogan.
This adds to an ever-growing cloud of controversy that has engulfed President Zuma since before he even took office at the Union Buildings in 2009. It is shameful that instead of being a selfless and citizen-oriented leader, President Zuma has become a self-serving and crony-oriented leader, leaving behind the hopes and dreams of millions of South Africans who still do not experience a better life.
In every household across the country, President Zuma’s name has become synonymous with numerous scandals such as Nkandla, the Spy Tapes saga, and so forth. The ANC are now faced with a choice: they can affirm and support such disgraceful action by President Zuma, or they can take action and recall him from his position – putting to an end his disastrous 7-year reign.
If the ANC hope to claim back any shred of credibility in the eyes of the electorate, they must take the collective decision to recall President Zuma. In the end, if the ANC elects not to recall the President, only one conclusion can be drawn: for the ANC, it’s Zuma first and the South African people last. In this year’s local government elections, we must reclaim our great nation and vote out an ANC who lack the courage and the conviction to recall their compromised president.