ANC alliance partners yesterday slammed the party’s National Executive Committee’s failure to recall President Jacob Zuma from the Union Buildings.
Zuma survived a second motion of no confidence at the weekend, and warned it was going to be the last time he tolerated such calls.
A defiant Zuma, backed by his supporters, reportedly told the NEC that the branches of the ANC elected him and that only they could remove him.
Yesterday, SACP second deputy general secretary Solly Mapaila expressed the party’s disappointment that the ANC did not remove Zuma.
“We are extremely disappointed. The policies of our movement are being broken, the principles are being disregarded and this is largely done by one individual,” he said.
Mapaila was speaking to The Star on the sidelines of Cosatu’s central committee meeting at the St George’s Hotel in Irene, outside Pretoria.
He said the weekend’s decision would come back to bite the alliance.
“What happened over the weekend is that we lost the people. This decision will be a defining moment in how we decided to leave the people of South Africa behind…,”Mapaila said.
The motion against Zuma, who will face MPs tomorrow for the presidency’s budget, was tabled by the ANC’s policy guru Joel Netshitenzhe on Saturday.
But it was defeated when only 18 members spoke in favour of it and 54 against.
The African National Congress said it can’t say for sure if calls for Zuma to step down will continue or come to an end following the failed motion.
So said ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe at a media briefing yesterday.
The move to remove Zuma from office was seemingly deferred on procedural grounds.
It had not been on the agenda, and the NEC does not vote on issues but reaches consensus.
Tyotyo James, Cosatu first deputy president, reiterated the union’s support for Ramaphosa to ascend the ANC presidency.
Meanwhile, Police Minister Fikile Mbalula, one of President Jacob Zuma’s backers, launched a scathing attack on party veterans and stalwarts who want Zuma to step down.
Mbalula, one of those who blocked a motion of no confidence in the president at the ANC national executive committee meeting at the weekend, told The Star on Monday the administration under Zuma was undoing some of the problems created by some of the veterans.
“We can’t be blackmailed by the stalwarts who are filthy and stinking rich, because they benefited from BEE (black economic empowerment). If they have made up their minds to sell out, they must leave the ANC out of it,” he said.
“We won’t be lectured by them. They masquerade as people who are genuinely concerned about the ANC, but we know they are not.”
Mbalula was reacting to a statement by the veterans that those who blocked the motion of no confidence in Zuma at the meeting of the ANC’s top brass were beneficiaries of state capture.