The ANC’s (African National Congress) secretary general, Ace Magashule and his deputy secretary general, Jessie Duarte, 75, have delivered to President Jacob Zuma, the decision of the party’s highest decision making organ to dismiss him from office.
After taking the reins of the country amid charges of corruption and with intermittent motions of censure, it is own party, the historic African National Congress (CNA) of Nelson Mandela, which has now placed the ticking of the countdown to leave power.
The National Executive Committee of the party met on Monday in the South African capital, Pretoria, to discuss the future of Zuma and decide if they would ask for his resignation or simply abandon him to his fate in Parliament. The discussion lasted until late at night and the conclusion was to offer him a period of two days to resign. A new assault on a Zuma who is reluctant to leave office.
In a premonition, the new party president, Cyril Ramaphosa, said on Sunday before hundreds of supporters at a commemorative event that sought “a new beginning,” being aware that the ANC was going through a “period of difficulty, disunity and disagreement “and that within the party” wanted to end this matter “. The arrival of Ramaphosa – newly elected last December – at the head of the ANC was the thorny path for Zuma; his ex-wife, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, the other candidate, had been more open to protecting Jacob Zuma, who had led the party since 2007 and the country since 2009.
Locked up in a marathon meeting, the 112 members of the Committee design the future of Jacob Zuma and the one of the own country: they need to sweep to the controversial and irreducible agent to undertake the renovation before the elections of the next year. Although the party considers that Zuma has squandered Mandela’s political legacy, the president has managed to remain in the presidential chair despite numerous scandals. The Nkandla case, for the diversion of public funds to renovate its private mansion; the so-called “arms business” or its murky relationship with the rich Gupta family.
The meeting of the ANC Sanhedrin had to be held last Wednesday, but a last meeting between Ramaphosa and Zuma delayed the date until Monday, which points to a possible exit agreement. If the Party Committee decides to request his resignation, Zuma is not legally obliged to resign, but would leave him in a very vulnerable position. Above all, because a motion of censure is scheduled in Parliament for the 22nd of this month. Without the support of their own, Zuma’s survival languishes.
Some pillars of South African democracy have questioned the president’s behavior. The Constitutional Court – which forced the return of part of the money used in Nkandla’s renovations – said in a harsh statement that “the president has failed to support, defend and respect the Constitution.” And the Ombudsman titled her report on the corruption of Zuma “State of capture”, referring to the kidnapping that the president has submitted to South Africa.