ANC faction to force Zuma out

Sunday February 11 2018

South African President Jacob Zuma could soon be forced to leave office. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

South African President Jacob Zuma could soon be forced to leave office. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By PETER DUBE in Pretoria

Some members of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) and its alliance partner, the South African Communist Party (SACP) have vowed to camp outside President Jacob Zuma’s Union Buildings office until he resigns.

The group addressed a joint media conference in Pretoria on Sunday ahead of the “national shutdown” protest set for Monday.

ANC Gauteng member Lazarus Maumela called on all South Africans not to go to work in solidarity.

“We are not going to leave the Union Buildings‚ by the way‚ until he (President Zuma) resigns‚” Mr Maumela said.

A security guard

The planned march to President Zuma’s office is scheduled to begin at 8am (local time) on Monday in Pretoria.

“Do not go to work tomorrow (Monday) Whether you are a police (officer)‚ whether you are a nurse‚ whether you are a doctor‚ whether you are a security guard‚ whether you are a garden boy‚ whether you work at a border gate‚ do not go to work,” he told journalists.

He added that they would not “be defeated by a group of thugs whose intention is to corrupt the ANC”.

Mr Maumela called on ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa to be bold in dealing with the removal of President Zuma.

“He shouldn’t be apologetic. He must be strong, bold and take the lead. He must show leadership and say 'enough is enough - we don’t want him'”.

ANC is expected to convene a special meeting of its executive on Monday afternoon.

Mr Ramaphosa, who is in Cape Town for the Nelson Mandela centenary celebrations, on Sunday thanked South Africans for their patience as the party wrestles with the transition of power.

He attended a church service in the company of Deputy minister of International Relations and Cooperation Nomaindia Mfeketo, acting ANC Western Cape chairperson Khaya Magaxa and the ANC’s spokesperson Pule Mabe.

Economic decline

A calm Mr Ramaphosa addressed media on the steps of the cathedral but refused to speak on the progress of the discussions around President Zuma’s future.

“We’ve been well empowered as we move ahead and we’d like to thank you very much and we’d like to thank the congregation for their total support as we manage this transition, as we move ahead,” Mr Ramaphosa said.

President Zuma, who has overseen a tumultuous nine years in power marked by economic decline and numerous allegations of corruption, has been in a weakened position since he was replaced by Mr Ramaphosa in December.

Mr Ramaphosa has been lobbying for the South African leader to resign and has said that he hopes to conclude talks with the president “in coming days in the interests of the country”.