The African National Congress (ANC) has suspended its former president Jacob Zuma, a month and half after he announced that he would not be voting for the party and pledged his support for the new Umkhonto Wesizwe (MK) Party.
In a statement released on Monday, 29 January 2024, the ANC said, “The ANC NEC took note of the announcement by former ANC President Jacob Zuma on 16 December 2023. He announced that he would be campaigning for another political party and further launched a series of vitriolic attacks against the ANC and its leadership.”
After criticizing Zuma’s actions, the ruling party said, “Pursuant to this, the NEC during its ordinary meeting held from 26 – 29 January 2024 resolved to invoke Rule 25.60 of the ANC Constitution: “If justifiable exceptional circumstances warrant an immediate decision of temporary suspension of a member without eliciting the comment or response of such member as contemplated above, the NEC, the NWC, the PEC or the PWC, as the case may be, may summarily suspend such member”. The NEC concluded that exceptional circumstances exist to justify and warrant an immediate decision to suspend former ANC President JG Zuma in line with Rule 25.60 as stated above.”
Zuma’s suspension appears to have been expected by many and is considered to be a slap in the wrist since he continues to be a member of the ANC. There are suggestions that he should have been expelled from the party. However, political analysts argue that his expulsion could backfire, saying it might paint Zuma as a victim, thus garnering him support ahead of the 2024 general elections. The decision to expel him is generally expected to come after the elections.