Numerous reports overnight and on Tuesday morning all point in one direction: that the motion at the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) meeting in Irene, Tshwane, to remove President Jacob Zuma has failed.
There will be a press conference at 2pm on Tuesday to discuss developments that took place throughout Monday, but a Cabinet reshuffle is now almost certainly on the cards after a number of ministers and top ANC members decided to speak out openly against the president.
ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa had earlier said that the NEC meeting would go into the evening.
It reportedly featured no vote on whether to retain Zuma as president following the proposal to pass a motion of no confidence in Zuma by Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom.
Sources from within the NEC have told reporters that the majority of the NEC felt that it would be more damaging to the ANC to recall Zuma. The divisions that emerged in the ANC and the lasting damage caused to the party by the removal of former president Thabo Mbeki is understood to also have informed the decision to keep Zuma.
Earlier, political analyst professor Andre Duvenhage had told The Citizen that Zuma’s “shelf life” was getting shorter, regardless of what would be decided in Irene. On Sunday, the NEC meeting was extended to Monday.
“This was a tactical move and we now also hear that the likes of Aaron Motsoaledi [minister of health], Naledi Pandor [minister of science and technology] and [minister of basic education] Angie Motshekga are part of the anti-Zuma camp, which becomes a formidable counter on the president,” said Duvenhage.
Since then, however, there have also been reports that Pandor defended Zuma.
He said even if Zuma survived again, his survival would be short-lived.
“Now, it is no longer a question of if Zuma will be recalled, but when. How many blows can one bloke take? Zuma cannot find a quick way out of this one because there are just too many counters against him.
“This is a total onslaught faced by Zuma from his own party and society at large.”
Duvenhage said the only reason Zuma had been able to cling to power was because he was safeguarding the elite who had been benefiting from his administration.
“He has vested political interests and he is also fighting for the survival of his Mafia group,” Duvenhage added.
Political analyst Elvis Masoga said for the first time since it was founded in 1912, the ANC was confronting an unprecedented presidential nightmare.
“The latest NEC meeting, which had to be extended, also shows the ANC has now arrived at a point where it is saying that the time to request Zuma to step down is over.
“The motion of no confidence against Zuma is also a classic example of the ANC’s preparedness to push him out.
“But the anti-nation brigade, led by Zuma, which comprises the likes of the ANC Youth League, the Women’s League and the Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans’ Association, is also ready and hellbent on destroying everything Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki left behind,” Masoga said.
He claimed that, according to his sources, an NEC member told Zuma to his face over the weekend that he is a “disastrous liability” for the ANC.