Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Magashule: ‘Leave President Zuma alone’

“Don’t worry too much about the Constitution,” ANC secretary general Ace Magashule said today when defending former president Jacob Zuma. He called for Zuma to be “left alone” in the wake of his defiant letter stating he would not testify at the Zondo commission into state capture.

The former Free State premier — who returns to court on 19 February on charges of fraud, corruption and money laundering related to a R255-million asbestos tender in 2014 — was speaking during an impromptu media briefing at the Soweto home of struggle hero Rebecca Kotane, who died at the age of 109.

Magashule was reacting to calls by the ANC in the Eastern Cape for Zuma to be brought to book for his reaction to the commission’s summonses.

“Leave president Zuma alone. Just leave him. What has Zuma done? President Zuma is president Zuma,” he said. “I can’t talk for president Zuma. He is a South African with his own rights, so you can’t want me to talk for president Zuma.”

Magashule called the Eastern Cape provincial executive “ill-disciplined” and “populists” after the province resolved at its lekgotla this week to recommend that Zuma face disciplinary action or suspension of his ANC membership. 

“It’s wrong for comrades to try and become populists and talk about Zuma all the time. They are populists who say Zuma must resign or be removed from the ANC. Zuma is part of the ANC.

“There is no structure of the ANC, be it a province or region, which can call for Zuma to be disciplined. They are out of order, and these are the populists who always try to do this, and the ANC is quiet about these populists who like to appear in the media.”

He added that the party needed to discuss Zuma’s defiance first before expressing its views. 

“Why should I call him to order? What has he done?” was Magashule’s response when questioned whether his office would have talks with Zuma.

Magashule added that “wrong things” were happening in the country and promised that in time he would reveal what he meant. 

After the Constitutional Court last week ordered the former leader to appear before the Zondo commission, Zuma wrote a letter saying that he would defy the order.
Zuma — who has been in a fierce battle with the commission’s chair, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo — said he was prepared to go to jail rather than testify before the commission. 

The commission approached the Constitutional Court after Zuma walked out of proceedings when his application for Zondo to recuse himself was denied in November last year.

Reacting to Zuma’s defiant letter, the commission earlier this week said it would lay criminal charges against him if he failed to appear before it on 15 February.

Subscribe to the M&G

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them.

Lizeka Tandwa
Lizeka Tandwa
Lizeka Tandwa is a political journalist with a keen interest in local government.

Related stories

Advertising

Subscribers only

‘People feel they have a stake in SAA’ — Gidon...

Interest in the beleaguered national carrier, which has received billions of rands in public funding, means criticism is inevitable

Soweto teacher dismissed for the alleged repeated rape of a...

The learner was 13 when the alleged rapes started, and they continued for two years until she asked to be moved to another school

More top stories

ANC committed to paying staff salaries, but employees are not...

ANC staffers picketed outside Luthuli House on Tuesday after months of problems with salary payments

Kanalelo Boloetsi: Taking on Lesotho’s cellphone giants, and winning

A man who took on cellphone data regulators over out-of-bundle rates is featured in this edition of a series on human rights defenders in the SADC region

Iqbal Sharma’s brother-in-law granted bail in Free State farming case

Dinesh Patel appeared on the same charges that have seen Sharma denied bail and the prosecuting authority seek the extradition of the Gupta brothers

Two-million new J&J jabs to come within two weeks, says...

Johnson & Johnson plans to replace our two-million unusable vaccines by July. The vaccines are unsuitable for use and must be destroyed, while the country’s vaccination programme is behind schedule
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×