A late-night meeting of the ANC National Executive Council (NEC) yesterday saw the highest decision-making body agree that former president Jacob Zuma's membership in the ruling party be suspended. This was confirmed by ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula during the Lekgotla that is currently underway in Boksburg, Ekurhuleni.
This comes after the former ANC President announced in December that he was not going to campaign for the ANC ahead of the elections. On the same day, Zuma announced that he will be voting for the newly formed Umkhonto Wesizwe Party which he has endorsed and campaigned for. Mbalula said the NEC decided to invoke Rule 25.60 of the ANC Constitution, which states, 'if justifiable exceptional circumstances warrant an immediate decision of temporary suspension of a member without eliciting the comment or response of such member as contemplated above, the NEC, the NWC, the PEC or the PWC, as the case may be, may summarily suspend such member'. Mbalula added that Zuma's suspension will only be processed by the party's National Disciplinary Committee after the elections as the party continues with its election campaign. "The ANC is willing, able and ready to defend the gains of freedom and our constitutional democracy. Accordingly, we call on ANC members, our alliance partners and all South Africans to reject the agenda of the JZ-party project and all other divisive, anti-transformation and counter-revolutionary projects aimed at derailing the forward march to a national democratic society," Mbalula said.
Mbalula said Zuma's newly formed party that they call the JZ-party project aims to cast doubt on our entire constitutional democracy. "The ANC categorically rejects the dangerous suggestion that our electoral system can and will be manipulated. The Independent Electoral Committee is one of the most trusted public institutions. The entire voting process and counting process is monitored by party agents from all competing parties and international observers who have repeatedly declared our elections to be free and fair," he said. He said the party will not allow a Renamo/Unita project in the country to discredit democratic outcomes that do not favour them and use violence against the people as a bargaining tool. "Former president Jacob Zuma is actively impugning the integrity of the ANC and campaigning to dislodge the ANC from power while claiming that he has not terminated his membership. This conduct is irreconcilable with the spirit of organisational discipline and letter of the ANC Constitution," he said, adding that Zuma and others whose conduct is in conflict with their values and principles will find themselves outside of the African National Congress. Zuma will be given 48 hours after he receive his suspension letter, to respond to the party's decision.