As an intense African National Congress national executive committee meeting mulled President Jacob Zuma’s fitness to lead the ruling party continued on Monday in Irene, Pretoria, the president left the meeting to attend to his official duties at the Union Buildings.
Zuma hosted Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Monday afternoon, the Presidency said.
“The two heads of State are expected to review bilateral cooperation between their two countries as well as the latest regional political and security developments in the continent,” read the statement.
Zuma is also scheduled to attend the funeral of leader of the Cuban revolution, Fidel Castro, in Havana, Cuba. Castro, who ruled the socialist south American country for decades, died on Friday aged 90.
Sunday saw the NEC meeting that started on Friday extended to Monday as more NEC members flew in to Pretoria to be part of the gathering, where Zuma was expected to put up a fight in order to remain in power.
The meeting saw a few ministers including Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, Science Technology Minister Naledi Pandor and Public Service Minister Thulas Nxesi reportedly supporting a motion of no confidence against Zuma, first tabled by Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom at the meeting on Saturday.
The President’s staunch backers such as the provincial premiers of Mpumalanga, Free State and the North West were reportedly leading the charge against his detractors.
They called on the ministers to resign from their executive posts seeing that they had no confidence in Zuma’s leadership. The 86 members of the NEC were each afforded an opportunity to speak and state whether Zuma should step down or not.
Zuma’s detractors believed that the continent’s oldest liberation movement would lose more power in the 2019 general elections should he remain at the helm. The party lost control of Johannesburg, Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay metros to the Democratic Alliance (DA) after the fiercely contested August local government elections.
Zuma’s second term as ANC president ends next year after the party’s elective conference, where his successor will be elected.
– African News Agency