05/04/2017 07:40 SAST | Updated 05/04/2017 09:01 SAST

Jacob Zuma's Backers In Fight-Back Mode

The president's supporters reportedly came out swinging during a meeting on Tuesday.

Rogan Ward / Reuters
South Africa's President Jacob Zuma reacts during a rally following the launch of a social housing project in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa April 1, 2017.

President Jacob Zuma has reportedly tried to fight back against the sweeping negative sentiment against him within the ANC, with his backers in the party demanding an apology from his perceived enemies during an extended National Working Committee (NWC) meeting on Tuesday.

According to The Times on Wednesday, his supporters wanted apologies from deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, secretary-general Gwede Mantashe and treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize for openly disagreeing with Zuma over his decision to sack finance minister Pravin Gordhan, and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas.

All provincial chairpersons and secretaries from the provinces were at the meeting.

Zuma's supporters reportedly called Mantashe, Ramaphosa and Mkhize ill-disciplined for openly disagreeing with the president.

Notes from the meeting were accidentally sent out to the media on Tuesday night. They seem to indicate that the meeting went Zuma's way.

"This communication was sent out in error, is not an official statement of the ANC neither does it represent the views of the ANC. It should thus not be used for the purposes of reporting," said ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa.

Some of the issues noted in the email were:

  • - Reshuffle triggered resurgence of dead movement #ZumaMustFall
  • - Firm belief that they can remove President Zuma
  • - Expectation of members of the ANC of the National Officials
  • - Mobilisation is not a spontaneous act
  • - Impact on the unity of the movement
  • - Taken steps to correct these shortcomings

According to The Times, there was also a discussion about how to counter a motion of no-confidence in Zuma in Parliament. The paper reported that it was decided that all the top leaders must address the ANC caucus in Parliament to stop MPs from voting with the opposition.