A group, claiming to comprise ANC and South African Communist Party members, which held a press briefing calling for a national shutdown until President Jacob Zuma is ousted, has since apologised.
The group, which also organised a Zuma Must Go march, said it wants to “unreservedly” apologise to the people of South Africa for its conduct, as well as the broader Congress Alliance and the ANC.
“We want to sincerely express our deep regret for our actions and the utterances that we pronounced at the press briefing against the president… As members of the ANC in good standing in Tshwane, having met with the ANC Greater Tshwane Region leadership, [we] extend our appreciation to the leadership for affording us an opportunity to give an oral representation to address all issues relating to the Sunday press briefing,” it said in a statement.
At the press briefing on Sunday, Hangwi Maumela, who claims to be an ANC branch member in Sandton, called for all South Africans to down tools on Monday until Zuma is removed as the president of the country, News24 reported.
But, shortly after the media briefing, the ANC in greater Johannesburg and the Gauteng SACP sent statements distancing themselves from the group.
Ekurhuleni regional chair Mzwandile Masina tweeted that any ANC members from the Ekurhuleni region involved in a national shutdown, would face immediate disciplinary measures.
Should any ANC Members from the Ekurhuleni Region be identified to have been involved in the organization and propagation of the National Shutdown, the Regional Executive Committee will immediately institute disciplinary measures and charge those members accordingly (3)
— Mzwandile Masina (@mzwandileMasina) February 11, 2018
In its statement on Monday, the group added that it particularly apologised for having organised the Zuma Must Go march, which was supposed to be held at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Monday.
“We further want to state that our actions were highly regrettable, ill-conceived, and we accept that this was an error of judgement on our side. It is important to also state that we have faith and confidence in the recently elected leadership of the African National Congress that was duly elected at the 54th ANC national conference in Nasrec, in December 2017.”
The group added that they “humble” themselves to the ANC and South Africans and “hereby ask for your pardon. We say, to err is human.”
The ANC’s NEC was in a closed marathon meeting on Monday.
Many have said the meetings will ultimately decide President Jacob Zuma’s fate. Opposition parties, however, has demanded that Parliament be dissolved if Zuma is removed through an EFF motion of no confidence, and that fresh elections be held.
The parties have given National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete until Tuesday, or face having the matter decided in court. – News24