Barberton, South Africa – In a recent address to ANC members in Barberton, Secretary-General Fikile Mbalula responded to former President Jacob Zuma’s decision not to campaign for the ANC in the 2024 general elections. Contrary to public speculation, Mbalula emphasized that the ANC has not expelled Zuma, asserting that the former president has, in essence, chosen to sever ties with the ruling party.
Mbalula acknowledged the disappointment within the ANC ranks regarding Zuma’s departure from the party he once led. While addressing ANC members at the Cadres’ Forum Meeting, Mbalula expressed both shock and lack of surprise at Zuma’s decision, underlining that the party did not intend for him to exit.
“The ANC didn’t expel Jacob Zuma. He has expelled himself, and his interpretation that he is still a member until he dies and is not leaving is his own interpretation. You want to be happy on both sides; it doesn’t work like that. We are disappointed, but we are not surprised,” Mbalula asserted.
Despite Zuma’s public declaration aligning himself with the new uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK) party, Mbalula stressed that the ANC would not hastily subject him to a disciplinary hearing. Instead, he called for Zuma to address any grievances through the appropriate internal channels within the ANC.
“We will not respond to the matter in snippets. We will, at a later point, give a comprehensive response, guided by the constitution of the ANC,” Mbalula stated, hinting that the ANC would carefully consider its response to Zuma’s membership status.
The ANC Secretary-General clarified that the party holds no personal vendetta against Zuma and is not threatened by his endorsement of the newly formed MK party. Mbalula underscored the clarity of the ANC’s constitution, asserting that no separate party called MK exists within the ANC’s framework.
“Our constitution is very clear; there is no party called MK existing in our name through somebody who wants to be a savior of the party or a messiah. There is no such thing.”
While Zuma faces criticism from some members of the ANC’s Veteran’s League, who have accused him of treason and treachery, Mbalula emphasized that the ANC would respond comprehensively and in accordance with its constitution, refraining from making abrupt decisions on Zuma’s status within the party. The unfolding saga raises questions about the ANC’s internal dynamics and the challenges it faces in managing a prominent figure’s departure. As the ANC deliberates its response, South Africans are left to ponder the implications of Zuma’s choice on the party’s future and the political landscape.