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By Vhahangwele Nemakonde

Digital Deputy News Editor

ANC has not invited Zuma to NEC meetings since his arrest – Mbalula

The ANC will decide this weekend on the steps to be taken against Zuma as he campaigns for the MK party.

African National Congress (ANC) secretary-general Fikile Mbalula says the party has not invited former president Jacob Zuma to its national executive committee (NEC) meetings since his arrest in 2021.

Zuma handed himself over to the police in July 2021 after the Constitutional Court sentenced him to 15 months in prison after finding him guilty of contempt of court.

This after refusing to appear before the Zondo commission, accusing the commission of bias.

According to Mbalula, Zuma has not been invited to NEC meetings since then.

Addressing the media on Friday ahead of the party’s NEC meeting at the Birchwood Hotel and OR Tambo Conference Centre this weekend, Mbalula said they were not expecting the former president to show up, as he had not been invited.

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“Zuma and other former presidents attend meetings as per invitation of the NEC to honour them and their contribution. Since he was incarcerated, the NEC at that moment stopped inviting him to the NEC and there’s not been any change in relation to that, so we don’t expect him to attend the NEC because he was not invited for quite some time. The NEC will reapply its mind as to what happens going forward regarding the invitations,” said Mbalula.

The NEC is expected to discuss steps to be taken against Zuma following his announcement he would neither campaign nor vote for the ruling party, also calling on others to vote for the newly formed MK party.

No fear of Zuma

While there was speculation the ruling party would not take action against Zuma for fear of losing voters, Mbalula said that was not the case. While nothing was clear when Zuma made the announcement, it was clear now that Zuma had indeed decided on MK, as evidenced by his campaigns, said Mbalula.

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“We lead a very big organisation that has huge responsibilities, it’s not about the fear of Zuma, it’s about responsibilities. Zuma is a former president of the ANC, former president of this country and a veteran of the ANC. When he takes such a decision, we reflect and yes, there have been snippets here and there, but that does not reflect the overall position of the ANC,” said Mbalula.

“There is no premium member of the ANC and a precious one above the rules of the ANC. All what the ANC does, it gives consideration to the matters and the same time to look at the attitude of those who are involved and exactly what they want to do.

“It is a firm position, no longer a rumour, Zuma is campaigning and has taken a particular posture. The NEC advised in Mbombela that as we meet [afterwards], we then reflect and make a political statement. The political statement will also entail the ANC’s constitution and Zuma’s standing. We have arrived at that point now.”

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