Former African National Congress Chief Whip Mathole Mosthekga says while President Jacob Zuma should resign, the entire party should not leave the decision to Zuma alone.
Motshekga says that members of the ANC “join the organisation as individuals, not as groups”, and therefore are, to some extent, personally responsible for their actions.
“However, this personal responsibility is exercised within a collective to ensure organisational coherence,” he continues. “In the course of time, collective responsibility overshadowed personal responsibility.”
As a result, he concludes, the ANC must “appeal to the conscience” of Zuma as a person, simultaneously aiding the party and forcing the President to take responsibility.
“President Jacob Zuma, like all of us is a fallible human being,” says Motshekga. “If he has committed errors of judgement, or violated the law and/or the code of ethics, then the law must allowed to take its course.”
He argues, however, that “personal responsibility is built into the Constitution of the ANC”, and that as an organisation that “carries the hopes and aspirations of the overwhelming majority of South Africans,” it cannot leave the current situation purely to Zuma’s conscience.
The ANC leadership must convene an urgent NEC meeting and ask the President to do honourable thing and assist him in whatever way possible to endure the situation,” he concludes. “It would be irresponsible to ask the ANC NEC to resign and dissolve government, and leave the cabinet leadership in a chaotic manner.”
On the issue of succession, Motshekga believes that the country has a “highly incredible unifying figure” in Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.
“The founders and ancestors of the ANC will judge the current leadership harshly if it fails to ask President Jacob Zuma and those implicated by the State Capture Report, to do the honourable thing and let the Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, to complete the term and reserve the right to rationalise his cabinet to save money for student fees,” he ends.