Tag Archives: Zuma

South Africa – Zuma survives NEC meeting but top six may decide his fate

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Zuma survives NEC meeting — now his fate may rest with ANC top six

The move at a dramatic three-day meeting to unseat the president failed and a compromise was proposed

29 November 2016 – 08:34 AM Natasha Marrian
Jacob Zuma. Picture: SUPPLIED
Jacob Zuma. Picture: SUPPLIED

President Jacob Zuma has survived an attempt to remove him from office after a dramatic three-day ANC national executive committee meeting.

The ANC will announce the outcome of the meeting at a media briefing on Tuesday after Zuma departed to Havanna, for the funeral of former Cuban president Fidel Castro.

Sources in the NEC said on Tuesday that the motion to remove Zuma was rejected and a “settlement” was reached.

The ANC NEC was divided on Zuma’s future, with both his detractors and supporters pushing to win the day, after his recall as state president was raised at the meeting on Saturday.

In an unprecedented debate, which most analysts see as the waning of Zuma’s political clout, some members called for him to step down and those close to him came to his defence.

The NEC meeting was supposed to have ended on Sunday but was extended to yesterday as both sides failed to agree on a way forward for the president.

During the meeting, the stalemate prompted ANC Northern Cape secretary Zemani Saul to propose a compromise.

He suggested that the top six leaders of the party should wrangle over the issue and report back to the NEC and for the discussion to be taken to a consultative conference to take place next year.

The ANC will announce whether this is the course of action it will take at its media briefing at 2pm.

South Africa – Zuma plans cabinet fightback as NEC gets resignation motion

Mail and Guardian

Zuma to launch fight back as ANC NEC present motion for the president to step down

Staff Reporter 27 Nov 2016 11:02

Zuma’s fight to discredit the public protector’s report into his relationship with the Guptas and the family’s undue benefits from state resources as a result of the friendship has already begun. (Reuters)
President Zuma is preparing to sideline those ANC members who oppose him in a cabinet re-shuffle. The president has also begun the process of charging former public protector Thuli Madonsela. The fight back comes as members of the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) reportedly tabled a motion for Zuma to step down.
Zuma loyalists have been sent into a panic, City Press newspaper reported on Sunday, after Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom tabled a motion for the president to step down in the ANC NEC meeting on Saturday. It is unclear if or when a vote will take place for Zuma to be reomved.
“Late last [Saturday] night, the meeting had been adjourned with the discussion around a vote deferred to today, the last day of the NEC sitting,” City Press reported.
Throughout the year, the ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe has said that the issue of recalling the president was never discussed in NEC meetings, despite pressure from civil society and ANC stalwarts.
The public protector’s State of Capture report, City Press says, has given Zuma’s critics a reason to ask for the president to step down.
Criminal charges against Madonsela
Zuma’s fight to discredit the public protector’s report into his relationship with the Guptas and the family’s undue benefits from state resources as a result of the friendship has already begun.
Madonsela released audio recordings of her interview with President Zuma to news channel eNCA, but the presidency said she did not have permission from the current public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane to do so.
The Sunday Times newspaper reports that on November 11, Mkhwebane opened a case with the police, alleging that Madonsela had contavened the Public Protector Act. The newspaper said that Mkhwebane confirmed she had laid charges after receiving complaints from Zuma, the national assembly, and former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor.
“A case has been opened with the Brooklyn police station because there is an investigation that needs to happen whether the leakage happened in violation of section 7(2) of the Public Protector Act because any information which is relevant to the investigation can only be made public with the permission of the public protector,” Mkhwebane said to the Sunday Times.
Zuma also announced on Friday that he would take the state capture report under judicial review.
Charges are said to be part of Zuma’s campaign to retaliate against Madonsela after her reports on Nkandla and the state capture have led to increased calls for Zuma to step down
Cabinet re-shuffle to oust Zuma critics
Zuma has, according to the Sunday Times, spoken to provincial ANC leaders about a cabinet reshuffle and the removal of Limpopo premier Stan Mathabatha and the Eastern Cape’s Phumulo Masualle.
The Sunday Times says that with a possible re-shuffle looming, the presidency has been warned to avoid the embarassment that they incurred when Des Van Rooyen was appointed finance minister. The presidency will now have to appoint people who are well-known and experienced in the re-shuffle.
City Press meanwhile, has reported that the cabinet re-shuffle would be a means to force Zuma naysayers out of their positions.
The ANC NEC is set to meet again this week to discuss the party’s leadership succession. 

Zuma also announced on Friday that he would take the state capture report under judicial review.
Charges are said to be part of Zuma’s campaign to retaliate against Madonsela after her reports on Nkandla and the state capture have led to increased calls for Zuma to step down

South Africa – “abused” Zuma to face grilling in parliament


‘President Jacob Zuma. (Netwerk24)

Cape Town – President Jacob Zuma will face a tough grilling during his last question-and-answer session for the year in the National Assembly.
Zuma will answer questions in Parliament on Wednesday, his first appearance since he blasted the Speaker for not “protecting him” during his sessions in the National Assembly.
The president, who has not had an easy year in Parliament, will answer questions on ministers Mosebenzi Zwane and Des Van Rooyen’s bids to stop the release of the State of Capture report.
“Whether he and/or his legal team instructed Zwane and/or van Rooyen, to lodge applications to interdict the release of the Public Protector’s report, entitled State of Capture, due to the specified persons’ alleged relationships with the Gupta family; if not, in each case, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the reasons in each case?” Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane wants to know.
Zwane will again be in the spotlight with the president also expected to answer questions on the closure of Oakbay Investments’ accounts by major banks.
United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa asks if Zuma applied his mind to the proposal of the inter-ministerial committee on the closure of the accounts, and what his decision in this regard was.
University fees, ratings agencies
Zwane announced that Cabinet had recommended a judicial inquiry into the closure of the bank accounts, but Zuma later distanced Cabinet from the statement.
The president will also be grilled on whether government had reached an agreement with the students regarding 2017 higher education fees and the government’s position on calls for free education.
Other questions on the agenda include one on whether he has found that sufficient steps have been taken by the government to satisfy the concerns expressed by ratings agencies earlier in the year.
He will also give input on how government characterised its strategy going forward in the diplomatic, trade and security arenas, with reference to the annual South African Heads of Mission Conference that was held in October 2016.
During his last appearance in the National Assembly, Zuma said he was always subjected to abuse by opposition MPs.
This followed the Economic Freedom Fighters’ refusal to let him speak on the grounds that they did not recognise him as the country’s president.

South Africa – chief justice will wait on Zuma before starting state capture investigation


2016-11-17 18:05

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng (Amanda Khoza, News24)

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng (Amanda Khoza, News24)

Johannesburg – Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng will only get involved in a judicial commission of inquiry into “state capture” if President Jacob Zuma asks him to do so.

In a carefully worded statement from his office, Mogoeng said he does not have a constitutional obligation to initiate the process of appointing a judicial commission of inquiry.

“No remedial action has been taken against the chief justice. He is thus not obliged to initiate the process of appointing the judicial commission of inquiry,” wrote his spokesperson Nathi Mncube.

He said the remedial action put forward by former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela only applied to the president.

“Only on him does section 84(1) (f) of the supreme law impose the obligation to appoint a commission of inquiry,” said Mncube.

The chief justice’s office said the president can either decide to comply with the remedial action as set out by Madonsela or challenge it on review.

30-day deadline

“If he decides to comply with the remedial action or to challenge it on review but courts return an outcome that is unfavourable to him, he would, in compliance with the remedial action, be expected to appoint the commission in terms of his constitutional powers, as directed.”

Mncube said the president can then approach the chief justice for a name of a judge expected to chair the inquiry.

“Only then may the chief justice get involved in the commission-appointment process, consistent with the Constitution and the law,” he said.

Madonsela in her State of Capture report recommended that Zuma appoint a commission of inquiry within 30 days, headed by a judge selected by the chief justice “who shall provide one name to the president”.

The judge will then be given power to appoint his or her own staff and investigate all the issues using the record of Madonsela’s report as a starting point.

Critics of the report have argued that the Public Protector overstepped her powers in her recommended remedial action – taking away the president’s powers to appoint a commission of inquiry.

‘Giving the power back to the president’

Director for the Centre for Constitutional Studies Phephelaphi Dube said although on the one hand it is the president’s prerogative to appoint such commissions it needs to be noted that the State of Capture report is one that comes with overwhelming public interest and the president himself is a person of interest in the matter.

“If he appoints a judge, that already casts aspersions on the impartiality of the commission and it should never be viewed as compromised,” she told News24.

She also said she felt the chief justice’s response to media queries regarding his views on the report was careful, but rightly so given the political nature of the matter.

“He is not running away from the remedial recommendations, but at the same time he is giving the power back to the president to do as is his prerogative,” Dube said.

South Africa – Eskom chief Brian Molefe’s decision to resign widely welcomed

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Eskom CEO Brian Molefe
Eskom CEO Brian Molefe

Political parties and civil society groups have welcomed the resignation of Eskom CEO Brian Molefe, and called on the board to resign too.

The EFF said on Friday that Molefe’s resignation was a step forward in cleaning up state institutions. It called on Eskom’s board to follow his example and resign.

“If they do not, EFF will make sure that parliament dissolves them as soon as possible,” spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said in a statement headed “The EFF welcomes the resignation of the Gupta appointee Brain Molefe as CEO of Eskom.”

The EFF accused Molefe of lying to parliament when he was asked about his relationship with the Gupta family, and reiterated that the power utility’s board was not legitimately constituted.

Corruption Watch said Molefe’s resignation was in the best interests of Eskom. Eskom’s prominence as a major state-owned enterprise required the public to have confidence in its operations and functioning.

“The allegations against Molefe, both in the media and the State of Capture report, must however continue to be the subject of inquiry by the pending judicial commission of inquiry into state capture, and should also be investigated by the relevant law enforcement authorities,” the anticorruption group said.

Corruption Watch also said Molefe’s alleged “irregular or criminal conduct” would not have been possible without the board. It urged the board to consider its continued leadership at Eskom.

Earlier in the day, Molefe announced his pending departure from Eskom “in the interests of the utility and the public doing on my part. It is rather what I feel to be the correct thing to do on the interests of the company and good corporate governance,” he said.

Molefe is to leave Eskom on January 1, 2017.

Eskom chairman Ben Ngubane said Molefe’s resignation was regrettable, but understandable.

Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown has expressed regret about Eskom chief executive Brian Molefe’s resignation‚ but says she respects his decision to do so.


“Mr Molefe has been instrumental in developing Eskom’s turnaround strategy‚ which is beginning to yield positive results and it is disappointing that he will not be present to see it to complete fruition‚” Brown said in a statement.

She said‚ as a shareholder representative‚ she would work closely with the Eskom board to ensure that the company remained stable.

“I am confident that Mr Molefe leaves a strong executive team in place to continue to deliver on Eskom’s mandate and implementation of the turnaround strategy.

The DA says it will lay criminal charges against Molefe following his resignation.

“It is suspicious that he has resigned after we began the process of getting him to come clean under oath in parliament,” DA MP Natasha Mazzone said.

“We furthermore see Molefe’s resignation as the first step in recovering Eskom’s damaged integrity – an important step in the right direction before the sovereign ratings decision at the end of the year.”

Molefe said he was resigning in the best interest of the public and Eskom however the DA believed this was an admission of guilt.

“We… hope that if Molefe hosts his farewell party at the Saxonwold Shebeen, he could reveal where its mysterious location lies,” Mazonne said.

South Africa – the questions about Zuma’s power

Mail and Guardian

The motion of no confidence is not going to succeed, but President Jacob Zuma and the ANC are going to be terribly bruised, writes Mashupye Herbert Maserumule. (David Harrison, M&G)
The motion of no confidence is not going to succeed, but President Jacob Zuma and the ANC are going to be terribly bruised, writes Mashupye Herbert Maserumule. (David Harrison, M&G)

Thuli Madonsela ended her tenure as South Africa’s public protector with a resounding parting shot: a report titled State of Capture.

It details how a coterie of kindred affinities is positioned to profit from the state. President Jacob Zuma is presented as being at the centre of the rot. The report’s findings are largely expressed in the language of possibilities – what are adeptly called observations. This, coupled with the admission that the investigation could not be “executed fully” because of resource constraints, sets the scene for contestation.

A particular bone of contention will be Madonsela’s recommendation that a commission of inquiry, chaired by a judge, should be established to investigate the issue of state capture.

There are also a number of important points to reflect on when considering the political implications of Madonsela’s report and Zuma’s fate.

Commissions and completeness

The power to institute a commission of inquiry resides with the president. However, in this case, the president is the subject of the inquiry. The chief justice is brought in and identifies a judge who can preside over the inquiry, to be assigned “the power to appoint his/her own staff”.

This is a stroke of genius intended to manage conflict of interest. The law is not clear in a situation where the sitting president is the subject of the inquiry of the commission he is supposed to institute.

More intriguing is the proposed commission’s mandate to

investigate all the issues using the record of this investigation and the report as a starting point.

Here, Madonsela is prescribing that the commission should attend to matters she could not cover fully with the state’s parsimonious allocations. But doesn’t this suggest the report is not complete? It appears not, as her observations are subjects for further consideration by the commission. The report is, however, final. Isn’t this a contradiction? Not necessarily. The report is final, but not complete.

That it is final means her successor cannot take over the writing, rewriting or editing of it. Its incompleteness, meanwhile, relates to the inconclusive parts for the commission to consider.

Political implications and Zuma’s fate

The report is damning. It reveals that private interests for selfish ends found expression in the administration of the state. The national executive authority of the republic is implicated. This is scary.

Madonsela’s report has stirred national consciousness. Zuma is swimming against the tide. Is he sinking, or might he still pull the trick of a proverbial cat with nine lives?

Some among the governing ANC leadership are starting to speak out. Its veterans are enraged. Former President Thabo Mbeki has broken his silence on the matter. The powerful Congress of South African Trade Unions has threatened to withdraw its support for the ANC.

The main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, meanwhile, want Parliament to debate a motion of no confidence in Zuma. Despite some dissent from his own party, it’s unlikely Zuma would fall victim to such a motion: the opposition parties don’t have enough seats to secure its success without mass ANC support. And the ANC in Parliament is the buffer shielding Zuma.

The motion of no confidence is not going to succeed, but Zuma and the ANC are going to be terribly bruised.

There is one option available to Zuma if he wants to directly oppose Madonsela’s report. He could opt to take it on legal review. But this is likely to cause even more than bruising: it may even leave the president and his party bleeding.

The perils of taking report on review

The basis of his argument is likely to be that only the president has the power to institute a commission of inquiry. So, he would argue, Madonsela’s remedial action is at odds with the principle of the separation of powers.

But lurking in this is the question: in a situation where the president is the subject of the inquiry, what ought to happen to obviate conflict of interest?

Is Madonsela’s remedial action (Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng selecting a judge to chair the commission) necessarily against the constitution? Is it true that she usurped the president’s power? In her own words, Madonsela is asking for:

The president to appoint, within 30 days, a commission of inquiry headed by a judge solely selected by the chief justice who shall provide one name to the president.

This would not take away the president’s power. The chief justice wouldn’t institute the commission, he’d simply select a judge to preside over a commission that the president is to institute.

The risk for Zuma is that a judicial process may formalise this intervention into a precedent. If it does, his challenge to the report would have underscored once again the important role of the public protector in shaping South Africa’s constitutional democracy.

By heading to the courts to challenge Madonsela’s report, Zuma may fall on his own sword.

Options and lessons

The only option for Zuma is to step down. If he doesn’t, the ANC may be compelled to recall him lest it further loses its grip and sinks with him.

Madonsela’s report has placed the question of ethical leadership and good governance right in the ANC’s historical consciousness. It requires the ANC’s honesty about the quality of the leadership it has deployed in various organs of the state.

Zuma is a manifestation of an ill-fated system of organising the state, specifically as it relates to the powers of the president. American political theorist James Madison’s insight strikes a cord here. He wrote:

In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed, and in the next place oblige it to control itself.

After all, as Madonsela’s report vividly reminds us, men are not angels.

Mashupye Herbert Maserumule, Professor of Public Affairs, Tshwane University of Technology

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

South Africa – Mantashe says voting according to conscience has no place in party system and will hurt ANC

Stupid comment as usual from Mantashe but isn’t he effectively admitting that MPs who follow their conscience would therefore  vote against Zuma? Otherwise, why would it hurt the ANC? KS



2016-11-08 18:43

Gwede Mantashe (Deaan Vivier, Netwerk24)

Gwede Mantashe (Deaan Vivier, Netwerk24)

Johannesburg – Voting according to conscience does not work in a party political system, said ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe.

He said ANC members of Parliament (MPs) must at all times resist the temptation to play to the gallery by supporting motions of those opposed to the advancement of the revolution.

Mantashe was referring to a pending debate on a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma, which is set to take place in the National Assembly on Thursday.

The motion was brought forward by the DA.

The opposition party made the call following the release of former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s State of Capture report. In the report Madonsela points out that Zuma might have violated the Executive Ethics Act by not acting when one of his ministers made allegations that he was offered a post by the Gupta family, who are close friends of Zuma.

Zuma is also alleged to have allowed the Guptas to influence contracts in state-owned enterprises and key decisions including the appointment of ministers.

On Monday EFF leader Julius Malema, in calling for active citizenship and the removal of President Jacob Zuma, complained about what he called the ANC’s voting cattle in Parliament.

DA motion ‘frivolous ritual’

Mantashe said if the ANC MPs voted according to their conscience it would hurt the ANC.

“We all get into lists of the ANC and go to Parliament. I don’t expect any member of the opposition to vote according to their conscience but the position of their parties.”

The ANC secretary general also criticised the DA for again putting the motion on the agenda, saying the party’s actions were becoming routine.

“The DA has now made this an annual frivolous ritual and it’s fast losing its meaning,” said Mantashe.

He said the motion had no chance of succeeding and that the bid by the DA was a sign of growing arrogance among opposition parties in the country.

“To say they believe they can command ANC members of Parliament, to say they must vote against the president of the ANC and the republic, this is a reflection of growing arrogance,” said Mantashe.

He said the ANC was not hypocritical like the EFF, slamming the red berets’ leader for comments he made outside a Newcastle court on Monday.