‘Victimised’ Zuma says he is not defying ANC, just disagrees with them

2018-02-14 17:06

President Jacob Zuma says he has not defied the leadership of the ANC by refusing to step down but he simply disagreed with their reasons.

In an interview with the SABC on Wednesday, Zuma said that he would not resign but he would issue a statement later in the day.

He was however worried that the manner in which the ANC handled the matter could plunge the country into a crisis because “some people” might be upset.

Zuma said that in the series of meetings that he had with ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa and the other top six officials they could not tell him what he did wrong.

He said the treatment he had received from Ramaphosa and the ANC officials was “unfair” and he felt victimised.

“I’m not defying. I disagreed with the decision that they made. I think that must be very clear,” he said.

“My problem is that nobody has provided me with what have I done. There’s nothing that I’ve done wrong. What is the problem? I don’t understand.”

Zuma first met with the newly elected ANC officials last Sunday. They delivered a message that he had to resign as the country’s president in order to avoid “two centres of power”.

Read: 5 telling things Zuma said in his SABC interview

The ANC wanted Ramaphosa to immediately take over so he could present the 2018 state of the nation address – which was postponed last week as a result of the stalemate between Zuma and Ramaphosa.

Zuma said that the claim that there were two centres of power was misplaced.

“Some of the leaders saying we don’t need two centres of power, no two centres of power. That is not a reason. I don’t think they understand exactly what they are talking about.”

He said that at the argument was relevant at the time his predecessor, former President Thabo Mbeki, wanted a third term, which meant that for a period of five years the country and the ANC would be headed by two different people.

He said that he was one of the people that were against Mbeki’s recall “because it would set a bad precedent” but he “lost to the majority”.

Zuma also said that by last week Tuesday he had reached a deal with Ramaphosa that he would step down sometime in July.

However, it appears Ramaphosa was forced to backtrack on the agreement by his colleagues in the ANC top six.

He said talk of him not delivering the state of the nation address started as far back as the ANC national conference last December in Nasrec.

“It’s just two months from the conference and we are being plunged into a crisis that I’m sure my comrades will regret because some people may not like things. They may feel there is something wrong,” he said. If the leadership of the ANC are not careful they might cause a bigger problem, he said.

Zuma said similar arguments were previously used to try boot him out of office and they failed. The only difference was that the people who were driving the agenda are now in power, he said.

Parliament on Wednesday scheduled a motion of no confidence to remove Zuma from office for Thursday afternoon.

Zuma said: “The manner in which this decision was taken I have a problem with. They are taking me to Parliament. That’s how I came in. If Parliament says ‘we don’t want you’ I don’t see why that should be a problem.”

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November 18 2018