'Tomorrow the president will respond' - Magashule

Ace Magashule (centre) has promised South Africans that President Jacob Zuma (right) will respond to the party's decision to recall him, even if the party did not give Zuma a deadline (Delwyn Verasamy/M&G)

Ace Magashule (centre) has promised South Africans that President Jacob Zuma (right) will respond to the party's decision to recall him, even if the party did not give Zuma a deadline (Delwyn Verasamy/M&G)

The ANC national executive committee (NEC) has not set an official deadline for President Jacob Zuma to respond to their decision to recall him, but the party expects him to reply on Wednesday.

“Tomorrow the president will respond,” Ace Magashule, the ANC’s secretary general, said on Tuesday. 

Magashule was answering questions during a press briefing on the NEC outcomes after a 13-hour meeting yesterday where the ANC’s highest decision body decided to fire Zuma.

Initially, Magashule said that the NEC did not give Zuma a deadline to respond during a meeting at his residence last night to brief Zuma on the NEC’s decision.

Magashule confirmed that Zuma has not yet agreed to step down, saying that he needs three to six months to tender his resignation. But despite the challenge Zuma is presenting to the NEC, Magasule said that the party still looks up to him as a leader who fought for the freedom of South Africans during apartheid.

“We are not treating Jacob Zuma as a leader who is defiant and all that. I think we are engaging one of our leaders who have contributed to the liberation of South Africans,” Magashule said.

Magashule said that the recall was a demonstration that the ANC is taking action, but the party did not take this decision “because President Zuma did anything wrong”.

“We have already acted. By recalling our deployee it means we have acted,” Magashule said.

Magashule also said that the State of the Nation Address would not take place unless it is ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa who delivers the speech.

“We said comrade Ramaphosa must be president of the ANC,” he said.

“If Sona is to happen, it will be addressed by comrade Ramaphosa.”

He confirmed that the decision by the 86-member NEC to recall Zuma was not unanimous. 

Ra'eesa Pather

Ra'eesa Pather

Ra’eesa Pather is a general news journalist with the Mail & Guardian’s online team. She cut her teeth at The Daily Vox in Cape Town before moving to Johannesburg and joining the M&G. She's written about memory, race and gender in columns and features, and has dabbled in photography. Read more from Ra'eesa Pather

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