zumacandleThe ANC youth League in KwaZulu-Natal on wednesday called on President Jacob Zuma to immediately reshuffle his cabinet.

“President Jacob Zuma must reshuffle the Cabinet as soon as possible.

“In fact, this should have been done on Tuesday, immediately after the national executive committee [NEC] meeting,” ANCYL provincial secretary Thanduxolo Sabelo said during a media briefing.

Sabelo said the “young lions” in Zuma’s home province were happy with the outcomes of the NEC meeting.

The party held its NEC meeting on Sunday and, in a surprise move, it was extended to Monday, with three Cabinet ministers calling for Zuma to step down.

 It was reported that Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom proposed that Zuma step down as leader of both the party and country. He apparently had the backing of NEC members, including Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi and Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi.

On Tuesday, the ANC briefed the media and announced that it had rejected the call for Zuma to be removed.

The party also said it did not expect mass resignations as a consequence.

On Wednesday, Sabelo said the youth league knew that the proposal to have Zuma removed “would never see the day of light because the NEC is a very sober and clear structure of the ANC”.

“Our view is that the NEC is not the correct platform to discuss whether President Zuma must proceed as the president of the country or not. A decision was taken at the national conference of the ANC that the president of the ANC will be the president of the county,” he said.

“Therefore the NEC is not above the congress, it cannot reverse that decision. It would have been out of place in the NEC. We hear people saying that it was the NEC that removed [former president Thabo] Mbeki, but Mbeki was not a president of the ANC at the time. It just does not hold water.”

Sabelo said he had heard that there were ministers who said they no longer had confidence in Zuma.

“They must not threaten to resign, they must resign. We urge them to resign quickly because you cannot work with someone you cannot trust, especially your boss. You work at the liberty of your boss, so they must recuse themselves.”

Sabelo said if the ministers did not resign, he would urge Zuma to reshuffle the Cabinet and remove all of those with whom he could not work.

“President Jacob Zuma must reshuffle the Cabinet as soon as possible. We actually think the decision has been delayed. It is already Wednesday today, the Cabinet should have been reshuffled on Tuesday.”

Sabelo said it did not matter that the ministers would remain members of the NEC.

“The president is still very comfortable in the NEC, he still enjoys a lot of power. He needs to reshuffle the Cabinet with immediate effect.”

He said it would have been more damaging to the party if the NEC had removed Zuma.

“We have always said that the ANC must learn from its past mistakes. Removing Mbeki caused a huge problem for the ANC. Anyone who thinks removing Zuma, who is more popular than Mbeki was, would not cause a problem for the ANC, that person does not love the ANC.”