Embattled South African President Jacob Zuma vowed Wednesday to never resign, while speaking at an African National Congress (ANC) youth gathering in Durban.
Zuma, who has faced repeated calls to step down from office amid questions of corruption, made his remarks during an Economic Freedom Lecture event focused on economic transformation.
“I realized that I will not resign on my own, that would be surrendering to the white monopoly,” he said to a crowd that South Africa’s News24 estimated at 2,000 guests.
Just weeks ago, Zuma was again asked to resign by Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi and Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi, all supported by ANC leadership. Subsequent calls to resign have persisted. In November, Zuma survived a no-confidence vote in parliament despite the stance of high-ranking members of his own party who have called on him to step down.
“We believe that the overwhelming majority of ANC members who are committed to the real values of the ANC will understand this and give their support to any initiative that helps strengthen the movement‚” they said in an October letter signed by 101 members, asking that action on Zuma be taken “before it is too late.”
Thousands of protesters demanding Zuma’s resignation took to the streets of Pretoria following the release of the “State of Capture” report by South Africa’s Public Protector office. The investigation into Zuma’s relationships with the wealthy and well-connected Gupta business family, who allegedly secured lucrative government contracts and preferential treatment in access to financing and business license approvals, is one in a long line of challenges to Zuma’s ethics and leadership.
Image: Republic of South Africa