File picture: Edward Zuma

Durban - Jacob Zuma’s eldest son, Edward, released an emotional statement on Thursday, pleading for South African citizens to demand radical economic transformation and to close ranks around the new ANC leadership and support president Cyril Ramaphosa. 

“I plead with South Africans to demand radical economic transformation and taking back land without compensation, settlers should never have peace in our country. Jacob Zuma dedicated 60 years of his life to the ANC, hence the ANC should not be tarnished in his name and there shall not be bloodshed in his name,” said Edward Zuma.

Jacob Zuma resigned on Wednesday night with immediate effect in a live television broadcast. While Zuma said he respected the decision of the ruling party to recall him, he did not agree with the decision. Zuma contends the ANC has not given him reasons for its decision.

Constitutionally, Zuma is allowed to stay in his position as head of state until 2019, when his term ends. But since Cyril Ramaphosa was voted in as ANC president in December, the party has been under pressure to exit Zuma in order to polish the image of the party, which has seen several of Zuma’s cabinet ministers, and Zuma himself, implicated in several corruption scandals.

“I share the same view with former president Zuma and believe the decision was utterly wrong and baseless, rather it was emotional and driven by so called public opinion which is a fallacy and ludicrous,” said Edward Zuma.  

“I believe we succumb to WMC (White Monopoly Capital) and the western agents who are hell-bent in destroying our country. South Africa will never prosper if we still consider ourselves as puppets of the West and ball boys of those in Stellenbosch who have all of a sudden have an interest in the wellbeing of this country.”

He said following the formal resignation of Jacob Zuma, the family decided to release a statement.

“We thank the ANC for allowing JG Zuma to serve the people of this country in different capacities over the years.  It is a privilege we will never take for granted,” he said.

He said the “fact that the ANC survives today” is a tribute the leaders who founded this movement and those that followed during the years of colonisation and apartheid.

He said aggrieved ANC members angered by Zuma’s removal must not defect to other political parties.

“We believe that the ANC remains the home for all the people of this country.” 

Edward Zuma said the family supported the new ANC leadership, reminding them to implement the ANC resolutions on “land, free education and radical economic transformation”.

“Despite the challenges associated with managing this transition, let us unite. The ANC should not accept factions, permanent lobbies and camps nor should it tolerate gossip-mongers who peddle disinformation, sow confusion and thrive on dividing the ANC for personal gains. Factions must be dismantled and be replaced with a spirit of unity and cohesion.”

He said the Zuma family would campaign for the ANC. 

African News Agency/ANA