The ANC has reacted to the decision by the ANC Women’s League’s (ANCWL’s) national leadership to visit former president Jacob Zuma at his Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal, amid his legal stand-off with the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture.
ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe on Thursday emphasised that the ANCWL was an autonomous structure of the governing party that could take its own decisions.
This is despite President Cyril Ramaphosa earlier this month reaffirming the party’s support for the commission and called on ANC members and all South Africans to cooperate with the inquiry.
“The ANCWL is an autonomous organisation, it decides on its own programmes and activities. So, anything they do – for as long it’s within their own autonomy – the ANC doesn’t have any much to say to that,” Mabe told The Citizen. “The ANCWL has got its own leadership and constitution, it arranges its own activities.”
This follows a decision taken at the ANCWL’s recent national executive committee meeting to engage with Zuma, TimesLive reported on Wednesday.
The organisation’s secretary-general Meokgo Matuba said they were still finalising the details surrounding the meeting and would not say what the purpose of their visit would be. However, some insiders claimed the meeting was to show support for the former president.
“We are working on finalising the details but indeed we will be visiting former president Zuma. A decision that was taken by our national executive committee meeting and the full details will be announced soon, probably on Friday,” Matuba was quoted as saying.
Zuma has hosted several senior politicians at his Nkandla home – including EFF leader Julius Malema, members of the Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) and Police Minister Bheki Cele – after he disobeyed a Constitutional Court (ConCourt) order to appear before the State Capture Commission last week.
The commission’s chairperson, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, asked the ConCourt to declare Zuma in contempt of court and to be sentenced to two years imprisonment.
The ANC’s top six leaders have also committed to meet with Zuma to engage him, ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule confirmed last week without divulging information on what would be discussed.
Mabe also refused to comment on the meeting saying it was an internal issue.
“We’ve got a national working committee on Monday, if there are issues for us to brief on they will accordingly brief us on those,” he said.
Attempts to get comment from the ANCWL were unsuccessful.