Presidential hopeful Mathews Phosa, a former ANC treasurer-general, has called for the party’s national executive to step down after multiple failed efforts to remove President Jacob Zuma as the party’s leader.
Speaking at a memorial lecture for ANC stalwart Oliver Tambo at the Kuyga Community Hall yesterday, Phosa began by accepting presidential nomination by the ANC’s Ward 40 branch.
He said that to save the ruling party and the country, Zuma and the executive had to resign immediately, not wait for the elective conference in December.
“Zuma must go, not tomorrow but today.
“If [he] doesn’t leave, he will take South Africa [and the ANC] down with him.
“In December, there ANC.
“This party we love so much will be killed by Zuma’s corruption.
“Let us save the ANC by asking the executive to step down.
“Let us save the ANC by asking Zuma to step down,” Phosa said to lengthy applause.
He pleaded with ANC members to unite in the name of Tambo and Nelson Mandela and to put Nelson Mandela Bay back into ANC hands.
“In taking back the city, we would have honoured the president because Tambo was a unifier, a nation will be no builder, a man of dignity and respect, not what we have today.
“Today we have a tsotsi for a president,” Phosa said.
Were he at the helm of the ANC, he said, he would focus the party on water and sanitation, education, student fees [and] accommodation, the basic things of life – not about who would take the deputy presidency.
“People won’t eat slogans. Every branch of the ANC must be concerned about the issues of the people,” he said.
Among those present were former Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Ben Fihla, who delivered a message of support for Phosa, Western Cape activist and Phosa campaign leader Andile Lili and Noki Plaatjie, deputy chairwoman of the hosting branch.
Lili blasted Phosa’s presidential opponents, Cyril Ramaphosa and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, saying they would not solve the issues facing the party.
“Both have contributed negatively to Mandela’s ANC.
“In 2007, Zuma’s rape allegations came to the fore, as well as allegations of stealing money.”
Lili said Ramaphosa’s part in the Marikana massacre made him likewise unacceptable as president.
Fihla said yesterday’s rain had fallen in the Bay because Phosa gave ANC members renewed hope.
More than 100 people, mostly elderly, attended, and were given ANC T-shirts and blankets.