Former president Jacob Zuma. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES/THULI DLAMINI
Former president Jacob Zuma. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES/THULI DLAMINI

The ANC has voiced its support for a planned meeting between the party’s top six leaders and former president Jacob Zuma over his refusal to co-operate with the state capture inquiry.

This comes as deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo said the commission had recommended that Zuma be arrested for defying a Constitutional Court order to appear and respond to allegations against him at the commission.

No date has been set for the meeting with Zuma but he has already met EFF leader Julius Malema, his Radical Economic Transformation (RET) supporters and the Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association, who are camping out at Nkandla in KwaZulu-Natal to “prevent him from being arrested”.

Zuma’s defiance of a Constitutional Court order forcing him to appear before the commission he had set up has put the party in a tight spot and is threatening to fuel factionalism in its ranks.

The party also confirmed that its president, Cyril Ramaphosa, will lead the ANC response to allegations of state capture at the commission.

Secretary-general Ace Magashule said in a statement that the party urges members to co-operate with the commission, which is probing serious allegations of state capture under Zuma’s presidency.

“The NEC [national executive committee] affirmed the fight against crime and corruption … and reaffirmed its support, as per its conference and NEC resolutions for the commission of inquiry into state capture, chaired by Judge Zondo, [and] urges all its members and leaders to co-operate with the commission in the national interest, and to allow the commission to complete its work fairly and present its findings, without fear or favour,” the statement reads.

It wants officials and the national working committee (NWC) to prepare for its appearance so that the party can present a firm position against corruption, state capture and its effects on SA citizens and the country.

Support for the party’s integrity commission, which presented its report for 2020 to the NEC, is also expressed in the statement. “The NEC noted, with concern, that not all reports of the commission have been processed and tabled in the NEC. Consequently, the findings and recommendations of the commission in these matters have not yet been processed and decided upon by the NEC.

“The NEC appreciated the ongoing engagements between the national officials and the integrity commission. The NEC resolved that the reports of the integrity commission must be processed in a principled and consistent manner,” the statement reads.

The party has tasked its national officials and the NWC to process all outstanding reports and for these to be presented to the NEC for decision, it reads.

The party further confirmed its decision to establish a new task team to lead the ANC Youth League to its next conference.

It was confirmed in the statement that the party aims to hold its national general council this year via a hybrid system due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Before Covid-19, a number of Ramaphosa’s detractors in the party had been eyeing the national general council as the right platform to challenge his leadership, using perceived controversy over the funding of his CR17 campaign for the party presidency in 2017 as a basis.

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