08/06/2017 08:21 SAST | Updated 08/06/2017 08:28 SAST

It Will Be Easier To Remove Zuma When He Is No Longer President Of The ANC, Says Gwede Mantashe

The ANC secretary general says it is difficult to recall Zuma while he is still president of the ruling party.

GULSHAN KHAN / AFP via Getty Images
ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe at a press conference at Luthuli House in Johannesburg on May 29 2017.

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe says it will be easier to remove President Jacob Zuma from power once he is no longer ANC president.

According to Business Day, Mantashe made the remarks while addressing foreign journalists on Wednesday. He reportedly said the ANC could not remove Zuma now because there was a resolution adopted at Polokwane that the president of the country should be the party's presidential candidate.

Business Day reported that sources opposed to Zuma said they would push for his removal after he steps down as ANC president in December.

Mantashe reportedly said it was easier to remove former president Thabo Mbeki from power in 2008 because he was not president of the ANC at the time.

"That is a very important milestone, because beyond that point many things are possible. What I am saying is that his term ends in 2019, but beyond December the conversation becomes less complex," Mantashe reportedly said.

In what was seen as a swipe at former African Union Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Mantashe reportedly said that calls for the next president of the Western Cape to be a woman were just a campaign tool.

"We don't have anything called a woman president in the ANC. We look for the president of the ANC, male or female, because if we elect a female, that female will not be a female president, but will be president of the ANC.

"It's as simple as that. The terminology that it must be a woman president is a manufacturing of terms that feeds campaigning. We need a president of the ANC, male or female," Mantashe reportedly said.