"What have I done?" President Jacob Zuma asked the nation repeatedly, as he delivered an unexpected exclusive interview on SABC on Wednesday, amid calls for his resignation and threats of a vote of no confidence. The president continues to insist that no one within the ANC caucus has been able to tell him what he's done wrong.
'I find it strange I'm being told to go' – President Jacob Zuma.
He said he could not understand why people were saying he must go, when he has not even been provided reasons by the party why he should resign. He defiantly refused to resign, despite being recalled by his party.
With the deadline for his resignation set for Thursday midnight, Zuma used the interview – or rather the monologue – to present his case as to why he should not resign, even to the extent of throwing Cyril Ramphosa under the bus.
President Zuma seems to believe that he needs to be convinced that he should leave.— Karyn Maughan (@karynmaughan) February 14, 2018
"I need to be convinced with facts...I feel I'm being victimized...I didn't defy. I disagreed."
Facing and ignominious end in the same manner that Thabo Mbeki was ousted, Zuma went on to claim that he was in support of Mbeki, and had not encouraged his recall.
He never opposed it, he actively supported it and mobilized all of us to support the removal of Mbeki. CR opposed it and @GwedeMantashe1 argued that instead of removing Mbeki, let's call early elections.— Julius Sello Malema (@Julius_S_Malema) February 14, 2018
The magnitude of this interview was such that it was even broadcast on Sky News, BBC News and CNN news – the tension over efforts to get him to step down has brought SA politics to the attention of the world.
South Africans took to Twitter to respond to Zuma's speech and speculate on what he could be up to.
This is not an interview.— Karyn Maughan (@karynmaughan) February 14, 2018
It's a monologue.
Not unlike what happens when THAT uncle corners you at the family reunion to explain to you why he still isn't talking to Aunty Beryl. And how she stole his Tupperware.
Except - and this bit is important - he's running the country.
Zuma reverting to classic role as victim, knifed in the back by Ramaphosa.— Pieter Du Toit (@PieterDuToit) February 14, 2018
Zuma is just saying a whole lot of nothing— Caitlin (@caithoelykit) February 14, 2018
Zuma is not resigning today !— THUTO (@THUTO_N88) February 14, 2018
#Zuma's throat clearing at a rate of every 4 to 7 seconds. Man's under pressure. Msholozi's last stand.— Nickolaus Bauer (@NickolausBauer) February 14, 2018
Zuma is out of options but is overtly unwilling to cede power. Not what the strategy is but my amusement with this situation is turning, albeit slowly, to mild trepidation. Zuma has no leverage, lets hope he isnt trying to manufacture some— Ryan Cummings (@Pol_Sec_Analyst) February 14, 2018
Zuma has said a lot but I have no idea what he has been saying. #ZumaRecall— Khaya Dlanga (@khayadlanga) February 14, 2018
Zuma: I felt I am being victimised here.— Ranjeni Munusamy (@RanjeniM) February 14, 2018
I think we've gotten everything we're likely to get out of this "interview". #Zuma is hurt, Zuma is lashing out, and Zuma is not resigning. Onwards to the motion of no confidence.— Verashni Pillay (@verashni) February 14, 2018
What have I done?— Jannie Momberg (@JannieMom) February 14, 2018
18 corruption charges
Des van Rooyen
Numerous motions of no confidence
ConCourt: Failed to uphold, defend and respect the Constitution
Will you resign?— Lwazi Pakade (@PhaksPhothinja) February 14, 2018
#ZumaExit Zuma seems to confirm that he will not resign before the motion of no confidence against him. He said if parliament that elected him want him out "there is no problem. I am out".— Qaanitah Hunter (@QaanitahHunter) February 14, 2018
'What have I done'— Tumi Sole (@tumisole) February 14, 2018
A Jacob Zuma Proverb
Zuma keeps on asking: what have I done?— Barney Mthombothi (@mthombothi) February 14, 2018
You've breached your oath of office
You've gutted the criminal justice system
You've presided over state capture
You've plundered SA to enrich your own family
You've sold the country to the Guptas
In the Name of God, go!
Zuma is too defensive when it comes to himself!! 😬😬😬— Mdu kondile (@KondileMdu) February 14, 2018
Zuma setting the narrative!— Moea Makhakhe (@MmMoea) February 14, 2018
Jacob Zuma doesn't respect us— Rapitsi (@RapzeeGuru) February 14, 2018
I want my hour back, what a waste #Zuma— Tapera (@TeekaySA) February 14, 2018
People must think for themselves #Zuma is not the only problem with the country.— IG: gabjuz (@Gab_Juz) February 14, 2018
There are two kinds of men.— Bra Suffocate (@thenextbarack) February 14, 2018
Mbeki- he knew it was wrong to remove him. He accepted it as a gentleman and walked away.
Zuma - he knows it is right to remove him. He digs in, he holds an interview to tell the country that he disagrees.
Lessons in leadership