Jacob Zuma Expected To Resign By The Party's Leadership

14 February, 2018, 19:24 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
  • Jacob Zuma

South Africa's ruling Africa National Congress (ANC) party has chose to formally ask corruption-dogged President Jacob Zuma to step down, following a marathon meeting by the party's leadership this week.

After almost 10 hours of heated debate, Ramaphosa and a key ally of Zuma left the meeting to drive to the President's official residence to deliver an ultimatum: stand down or face "recall", a technical term for the process of forcing an ANC official to leave their post.

The ANC announced earlier on Wednesday that its MPs will vote with opposition parties in a motion of no confidence against President Zuma at Parliament on Thursday. "The decision has been taken and must be implemented".

"Zuma is clearly digging in, fearing what could come next should he resign prematurely", Mark Schroeder, vice president of Africa analysis at geopolitical advisory company Stratfor, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television on Monday.

Zuma, a polygamous Zulu traditionalist with no formal education, has been living on borrowed time since Ramaphosa, a union leader and lawyer once tipped as Mandela's pick to take over the reins, was elected as head of the 106-year-old ANC in December.

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Jackson Mthembu, the ANC chief whip, said they would approach other parties in Parliament, including those who put the motion forward.

His motorcade returned an hour later to the venue of the ANC meeting debating the President's fate.

Meanwhile, South Africa's presidency told the media to "await official notification" of a media briefing by the president, amid expectations that he is about to resign as head of state.

ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule said when Zuma was informed of the NEC's decision to recall him, he said to the party leaders: "You know I'm a disciplined member of the ANC".

If he refuses, Zuma would then likely be ousted via a parliamentary vote of no-confidence within days. "He hasn't been told yet", said the senior ANC source on Tuesday.

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The political wrangle plunged South Africa - the continent's most developed economy - into confusion over who is running the country, with last week's annual State of the Nation address cancelled.

But Mr Zuma - who has refused to resign - would be under no constitutional obligation to obey the order.

"We haven't given him any deadline to respond (but) when we recall our (president), we expect (him) to do what the organization expects him to do".

The President's term had been due to end next year. And 18 corruption charges, stemming from a 1990s arms deal, were dropped before he became president and have not been reinstated.

The country's top court also ruled in 2016 that the President had violated the constitution when he used state funds to pay for multi-million dollar upgrades to his private home.

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