Top political analyst Prof Steven Friedman said more senior ANC leaders might publicly voice their opposition to President Jacob Zuma and call on him to step down.
Friedman said at the same time Zuma’s opponents would be met by an opposite force of Zuma supporters, who would try to rubbish them – as the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal and the ANC Youth League in North West did at the weekend.
Friedman said the statement by former ANC chief whip Mathole Motshekga, calling on the ANC not to take collective responsibility for Zuma’s actions in the state capture issue and for the party NEC to ask him to step town, would open the floodgates for more anti-Zuma dissent within the party to be voiced.
There has been a groundswell of party dissatisfaction and calls on Zuma to go, from ANC struggle veterans and members of civil society both after the Nkandla and state capture reports by former public protector Thuli Madonsela.
“If Jackson Mthembu and Motshekga stand together, that would add more weight to join the vote of no confidence in Parliament.
“There is certainly a shift within the ANC. We are likely to see more of this; we will see more senior ANC members coming out,” Friedman said.
Certainly more people are moving away from the president, he said.
“At the same time there will be more reaction from Zuma supporters,” Friedman added.
United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa has called on Motshekga, Mthembu and other ANC parliamentarians to support a vote of no confidence in Zuma.
Holomisa said Motshekga and others must utilise the opportunity presented by the motion of no confidence submitted by the Democratic Alliance to express their opposition to the looting of state resources by Zuma and his supporters.
“It is [good] that the Motshekgas of this world, who used parliament as a vehicle to oppose calls by the opposition parties for Zuma over the Nkandla report, have now changed their minds about him,” he said.
Cape-based political analyst Sanusha Naidu said Motshekga’s statement tended to appeal to the ANC’s conscience and moral compass.
“Could it be that the party is looking at this Jacob Zuma issue in a more rational way, by looking beyond the collective approach?” she asked.
Naidu said it seemed that “a small group of ANC people are now self-correcting the ANC”.
“The fact that they all come out to make their statements says a lot,” she added.