Cape Town, South Africa: The national executive committee (NEC), African National Congress (ANC) – South Africa’s governing political party – decided to recall President Jacob Zuma at its marathon meeting in Irene on Monday. The NEC is, according to the ANC’s constitution, mandated to remove its public office bearers.
Shortly before midnight, state media said Zuma had been told in person by ANC head, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa,that he had 48 hours to resign. Nigeria Circle News learnt that Zuma already turned down the request.
The ANC NEC reportedly decided to recall President Jacob Zuma after he earlier refused to resign. Sources say the meeting turned down Zuma’s request for a 3 months stay. The ANC will write to him a letter on its decision, then they will hear from Zuma, according to reports.
Previous efforts to persuade Zuma, 75, to step down for the good of the party before his term next year have proven unsuccessful.
On Monday, however, the ANC’s National Executive Committee (NEC), which has the power to demand Zuma’s ouster, took up the issue.
“[Because] our people want this matter to be finalised, the NEC will be doing precisely that,” Ramaphosa told a rally – at the launch of the ANC’s Nelson Mandela centenary celebration – in Cape Town on Sunday, according to reports.
Ramaphosa added that the matter would be resolved at Monday’s NEC meeting.
“As the leadership of the African National Congress, we are currently engaged in discussions around the transition to a new administration and specifically to resolve the issues of the position of the President of the Republic,” he said.
“The successful resolution of this matter has significant consequences for the country and for the African National Congress.”
Ramaphosa didn’t provide any detail on the discussions he had with Zuma. However, he said it was important that these discussions were managed with “care and purpose”.
Ramaphosa postponed an ANC NEC meeting last Wednesday that would have decided Zuma’s fate after the president told the top six that he would not resign. Instead, Ramaphosa continued talks with Zuma, who apparently had a set of conditions for his resignation.
On Thursday, Ramaphosa reportedly told the ANC caucus that immunity for Zuma was not on the table.
Last week, Parliament’s presiding officers, National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete and National Council of Provinces chairperson Thandi Modise announced the unprecedented decision to postpone the State of the Nation Address, which was scheduled for last Thursday. There had been mounting pressure on Zuma not to deliver the annual address to both houses of Parliament.
Nigeria Circle News learnt that cautious NEC members want the party’s highest decision-making body, between conferences, to also give the Parliamentary caucus a mandate to support a motion of no confidence against Zuma, in case he defies the NEC decision to recall him.
The African National Congress already replaced Zuma as head of the party with Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, a move signaling that Ramaphosa will be the party’s presidential candidate in 2019.
Ramphosa said on Wednesday that he and Zuma had been holding direct talks on a transfer of power.
Zuma had previously insisted that he be allowed to fulfill his term, but he faces the reinstatement of corruption charges over a $2.5 billion government arms deal arranged in the late 1990s when he was deputy president.