Feb. 14 (UPI) — A day after he was formally recalled, South African President Jacob Zuma said Wednesday he’ll only resign if the African National Congress party brass tell him what he’s done wrong.
The ANC ordered Zuma to leave office by the end of Tuesday — or risk being removed by force.
Zuma, the subject of several “no-confidence” votes in recent years, has resisted pressure to resign and remained president amid repeated corruption allegations. Under South Africa’s national constitution, Zuma cannot be forced out of office.
The ANC said if Zuma does not resign by the end of Wednesday, proceedings will begin to legally force him out.
During a television interview Wednesday, Zuma said he’s asked top officials to clarify his wrongdoing, but said “nobody has ever been able to tell me what the issue is.”
“It’s not a new matter. I need to be furnished with what is it that I have done and unfortunately nobody has been able to tell me,” he said. “There are processes in the ANC that need to be followed if I have been doing something wrong.”
Zuma, South Africa’s president since 2009, faces nearly 800 corruption allegations stemming from an arms deal during the 1990s. In 2016, he was ordered by South Africa’s top court to repay part of $15 million in public funds it said he misappropriated to upgrade his private home.
Zuma said he’s not defying ANC leadership, but disagreeing with its decision to recall him.
“I have never defied the leadership. I said here I do not agree … because there is no evidence,” Zuma said. “I did not defy. I disagreed with the decision because I feel the decision is not right.”
Zuma was president of the ANC between 2007 and 2017.