'State taken over by crooks eating what's left of our carcass' - Vavi

Cape Town – The country’s problems cannot be reduced to one man – President Jacob Zuma, a News24 Frontline panel discussion heard on Monday.

"In the economy, there are many issues that play a part, and the Cabinet reshuffle was approved by the ANC NEC, [and was] not only the decision of the president," ANC Youth League secretary Njabulo Nzuza said.

SA Federation of Trade Unions general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi agreed and said a collective was to blame for the state of the country.

"The collective decided to stick with neoliberal programmes, ignore Waterkloof, and stick with Zuma. The whole of Cabinet and executive committee have no right to hold their positions. The collective must take responsibility for betraying us and for their collective sins."

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa, Vavi, and Nzuza were discussing Tuesday's vote of no confidence in Zuma.

Vavi lamented the disbandment of the Scorpions crime-fighting unit in 2009 and said he was one of those who "naïvely and stupidly" supported the decision.

Nzuza said the ANC was not afraid of the motion. He said National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete did not decide to let MPs vote by secret ballot "with a gun to her head".

Nzuza said the secret ballot was only about removing the ANC and the opposition coming into power.

"Pity we waste time talking about who must lead. The opposition will only be happy when they lead."

Holomisa said they were not calling for regime change, only for Zuma to go. The ANC could stay, he said.

Vavi said the ANC would not lose power if Zuma was voted out. The Johannesburg suburb of Saxonwold, where Zuma’s friends the Guptas lived, was appointing ministers. He said the country had been stripped to the bone through state capture.

"What exists is a shadow state taken over by crooks eating what's left of our carcass."

Also read: Secret vote or not, Zuma will still be President by end of tomorrow – ANCYL

One of the factors Mbete took into account when deciding on a secret ballot was the safety of MPs. ANC MP Makhosi Khoza had received death threats for speaking out against Zuma. Nzuza denied that she had been threatened.

"She's been offered security, but didn't accept it," he said.

"ANC MPs understand what's at stake. They'll not vote against the president. He'll still be president tomorrow."

He was asked if protecting Zuma would result in the ANC losing the 2019 general elections.

"We are aware of decline in support. We can't be told by opposition what our problems are.  After tomorrow the ANC will continue with programmes to make the lives of people better."