President Zuma’s apology shows ‘unprecedented courage’

The African National Congress (ANC) in the Eastern Cape has endorsed and “wholeheartedly” accepted President Jacob Zuma’s apology around the Nkandla debacle.

African News Agency

South Africa President Jacob Zuma
South Africa President Jacob Zuma

This despite a damning Constitutional Court ruling last week which stated that Zuma had failed to “uphold, defend and respect the Constitution” when he did not adhere to the remedial actions called for by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.

Zuma apologised to the nation on national television on Friday night, stating that “any action not keeping with the constitution happened with different legal advice,” and that it had happened in “good faith”.

The president said that he did not act “dishonestly” and that his intention was “not in pursuit of corrupt ends”.

Madonsela issued a report two years ago in which she stated that the millions that went into upgrading Zuma’s Nkandla homestead had not all been rightfully used.

In a statement released on Monday morning, ANC Eastern Cape spokesperson Mlibo Qhoboshiyane said that the ANC Provincial Executive Committee had held a special PEC meeting to reflect on recent “political upheavals”.

Qhoboshiyane said that the ANC in the province was “vehemently” opposed to both conventional and unconventional means to remove Zuma from office.

“Eastern Cape will oppose such a move as it will [simply] create political schism and turmoil,” said Qhoboshiyane.

He added that the party welcomed the apology of the president.

“We accept that president demonstrated humility and acted in good faith. The apology by the president displays the ANC character of respect and unprecedented courage,” he said.

Qhoboshiyane further welcomed the Constitutional Court ruling.

“Eastern Cape PEC supports the process for further engagements with the organisational structures of the movement as well as a broad rage of interested parties who wish to engage with the ANC on this matter.”

The PEC fully and extensively considered the role of chapter 9 institutions, the executive reaffirmed its unconditional support for the judiciary and chapter 9 institutions that are critical to uphold and promote the provisions of the constitution of the republic of South Africa, he added.

Qhoboshiyane said that the ANC in the province rejected any purported state capture in South Africa. He added that any attempt by any individual, family and business groups to seek “undue influence” on the state should be totally rejected with the “contempt it deserves”.

Meanwhile, former executive mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay and a former regional chairman of the ANC Nceba Faku over the weekend posted on Facebook that Zuma’s apology was disappointing.

Faku’s post read: “What kind of discipline enforcement example are we making? If people know that there are no consequences of their indiscipline actions then any member can drag our organisation in the mud. This is not an opposition point scoring matter, this is about keeping the ANC integrity and upholding its values. I am more than disappointed! If the President had nothing to say, he should have just kept quite (sic) please. We are adults and we know this ANC!”

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