The African National Congress (ANC) has announced its readiness to face potential legal action from former President Jacob Zuma after suspending him from the party.
The ANC’s National Executive Committee (NEC), consisting of 87 members, made the decision to suspend Zuma, labelling him a “counter-revolutionary” and a “reactionary.” The party likened Zuma to rebel leaders Jonas Savimbi of Unita in Angola and Afonso Dhlakama of Renamo in Mozambique.
Speaking at the Birchwood Hotel in Boksburg, where the NEC meeting took place, ANC Secretary-General Fikile Mbalula acknowledged the possibility of Zuma taking the matter to court.
Mbalula emphasised that the ANC would be prepared to defend itself against any challenges to its decisions. He also assured that Zuma would be duly informed about the suspension.
Mbalula addressed the question of Zuma’s indispensability, stating that while Zuma was a member of the ANC, the party had worked with him as president until circumstances dictated otherwise.
The decision to suspend Zuma was unanimous among the NEC members, indicating a consensus within the party.
Mbalula highlighted that Zuma’s actions had deviated from the ANC’s principles, exposing the party to potential risks. He mentioned that Zuma had publicly announced his support for the Umkhonto weSizwe party (MK) ahead of the 2024 general elections, stating that the ANC had strayed from its core values.
This move by Zuma was seen as a blow to the ANC by analysts and was strongly criticized by the Veterans League, who labelled it as “treason and treachery.”
Zuma’s membership will remain suspended until the completion of disciplinary proceedings, including reviews. Mbalula clarified that the permanent expulsion of Zuma from the ANC had not been decided yet. As of now, Zuma has not responded to his suspension.