According to TimesLive, the website’s sources have revealed that “heated meetings” in ANC branches in Buffalo City and Nelson Mandela Bay over the weekend may ultimately have ended in decisions to call for the removal of President Jacob Zuma.
If this is true, it would mean this is the first time that structures of the ANC have made a decision to change their number one man. The website further reported that Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba, Eastern Cape ANC deputy chairman Sakhumzi Somyo and ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe were understood to be part of a delegation that met branches and councillors on Sunday.
The ANC Youth League’s general council in East London on Sunday also reportedly called for Zuma’s removal.
Although the ANC was able to retain the Buffalo City metro, it lost Nelson Mandela Bay to the DA.
It is commonly accepted that the scandals around Zuma contributed hugely to the nearly 9% drop in support that proved critical in ousting the ANC from such key metros earlier this month. It retained only one big metro in Gauteng, where voter disapproval was most keenly felt.
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The youth league members were reportedly also against an earlier call by their organisation to have an early elective conference, instead saying the solution was simply to recall Zuma or face even worse election disasters in 2019.
The website was unable to get comment from ANC provincial secretary Oscar Mabuyane. Crucially, no one has yet denied that these meetings took place or that these calls were made.