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DA leader Mmusi Maimane says Parliament should be allowed to do its job if the “talk shop” between ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa and President Jacob Zuma has not worked.
Maimane was communicating the DA federal council’s resolutions from this past weekend’s sitting at its Cape Town offices.
With the challenges the ANC and Ramaphosa, specifically, have had in removing Zuma, the country effectively finds itself being held ransom, he said on Monday.
“South Africa can’t sit and be spectators. I think we must look at the power dynamics in the ANC, and not transfer it onto the people,” Maimane told reporters.
“If Deputy President Ramaphosa [is not] able to remove President Zuma, let Parliament do its job, and let’s move on.”
Maimane admitted that the election of Ramaphosa as the ANC’s new president had changed the mood in the country.
“However, the manner in which Jacob Zuma is holding both the country and the ANC to ransom by refusing to leave shows how powerful he still is, and shows how deep-rooted the network of corruption that he built runs.
“Cyril Ramaphosa’s remarks in Cape Town yesterday have shown South Africans what is most important to the new ANC president – unity within the ANC. For Ramaphosa, just like Zuma, it’s the ANC first and South Africa second.”
The ANC’s national executive committee is meeting on Monday afternoon to make a decision on Zuma’s future. Ramaphosa promised ANC supporters on Sunday at a rally in Cape Town that there would be “closure on the matter”.
Zuma amnesty would be an ‘insult’
A dignified and smooth leadership transition was not in the best interests of South Africa, Maimane continued.
“The immediate removal and criminal prosecution of Jacob Zuma and all his corrupt cronies within the ANC is what is in the best interests of the country.
“Swift and decisive action is what we need, not a Ramaphosa-Zuma talk shop.”
Amnesty for Zuma, according to the DA, is not an option.
“This should not even be discussed. Ramaphosa would be in breach of the Constitution – particularly the requirements for the National Prosecuting Authority [NPA] to act without fear or favour. We reject any form of an amnesty deal for Zuma as an insult to all South Africans.
“There can be no special deals for Zuma. No legal fees paid by the state, no extra security, no protection from prosecution as a state witness. Nothing. He must face the full consequences of his actions.”
The DA would push on with its case to have Zuma recharged for the outstanding 783 counts of corruption that were “erroneously dropped by the NPA almost a decade ago”.
If Zuma wanted extra protection, there was no place as secure as a maximum security prison, Maimane said.
The DA would consider calling for public action and protests if that is not the final outcome, he added.