President Jacob Zuma has crossed the line and any ANC member worth his or her salt needs to speak out, party veteran Barbara Hogan said on Friday.
“I certainly believe that if ANC members are worth their salt, they have to start looking very carefully and introspectively … about our roles in this organisation and what we are giving consent to by allowing this president to operate as though he is completely unaccountable,” she said.
“They [the ANC] need to hold this president, who has become a law unto himself, [to account]. If they do not want to recall him, then they must hold him accountable.”
Hogan, a former minister and wife of ANC veteran Ahmed Kathrada, was speaking out following the axing of finance minister Nhlanhla Nene.
Hogan has been minister of health and minister of public enterprises. She was fired as public enterprises minister by Zuma in 2010.
She called Nene’s dismissal an arbitrary act and said it was unacceptable that Zuma had not given an explanation for his decision.
“We all know there is not an acceptable explanation.
“This is the final straw. If the president is now intent on dismantling treasury anyone who has been in government knows that a lot of government revolves around a treasury.”
The president had gone beyond what was acceptable, she said.
Zuma ‘has to be held to account’
Hogan praised Nene as a man who had worked his way through the ranks and was respected.
“If you want to talk about black empowerment, let’s just talk about Mr Nene.
“That is the most remarkable example of a man who came to Parliament, put his mind to it and grew in stature … and applied his mind.”
Hogan said the president had a constitutional right to appoint and remove Cabinet ministers, but under the current climate, when the economy was facing the worst disaster in 20 years, he had to explain what he was doing.
Under Zuma the country had seen the disillusion of its democracy with institutions like the public protector, the National Prosecuting Authority and the SA Revenue Service being wrecked.
Hogan called on all ANC members to speak out.
“I’m talking about each and every good thinking ANC member… disregard this notion that you can talk only within the structures and that you can talk only in private.
“Luthuli House needs to hear loud and clear that this man has to be held to account and we need people, men and women of good standing and stature, to do that job.” – News24