The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal has thrown its weight behind President Jacob Zuma in the face of the backlash sparked by former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s state capture report.
The party’s provincial leadership, which has backed Zuma since his ascendancy to the ANC presidency at Polokwane in 2007, this morning called on the president to take the report on judicial review in a clear bid to undermine the report’s credibility.
They also accused Madonsela of being part of a political agenda to undermine the ANC for releasing an “incomplete” report rather than handing over the state capture investigation to her successor.
ANC provincial secretary Super Zuma, who accompanied the president at an ANC victory rally in eDumbe in Zululand this weekend, said that the provincial executive committee – which met this weekend – felt that the report was “incomplete and exceedingly generalising on a variety of issues, including a serious allegation against the ANC president”.
“We find it strange that the former Public Protector found it necessary, for whatever reasons, to rush for the release of a report that is littered with many incomplete and therefore unscientific observations,” he said.
“We are particularly concerned that the former Public Protector believes it was not important for her to leave all incomplete and outstanding tasks to her successor, but instead chose to release a report that makes political statements, rather than legal findings,” Zuma said.
Saying that this “constitutes a deviation from the primary task of the office of the Public Protector”, Zuma said Madonsela’s “strange but not surprising behaviour” reinforced the provincial ANC’s belief that this was part of a political agenda to “tarnish, discredit, diminish and de-legitimatise our movement and its leadership”.
He said Zuma should, in his capacity as president of the country, subject the “incomplete” report for judicial review.
The ANC also took a swipe at party veterans who have publicly called for Zuma to step down, saying that while they remained “a unique fountain of knowledge built over decades of struggle for freedom”, they should raise their concerns inside structures.
“We sincerely appeal to all esteemed veterans of our movement to engage with their organisation in a robust, critical but dignified manner and avoid public statements that undermine the stature and the prestige of the movement,” Zuma said.
“We remain firmly opposed to any conduct, including from our esteemed veterans, that seeks to weaken the ANC and its democratically elected leadership,” Zuma said.
The party in the province is also likely to start mass mobilisation in defence of the beleaguered president, with Zuma saying they would start a campaign to “consolidate the movement’s relationship with the masses of our people and ensure a dynamic connection in defence of the national democratic revolution.”