A rebellion against President Jacob Zuma in his own party gained momentum at the extended ANC national executive committee (NEC) meeting yesterday, with some NEC members warning the ANC risks losing the 2019 general elections if Zuma is not recalled.
The rebels, who include Cabinet ministers and senior party leaders, told the meeting that the ANC, which performed dismally in the local government elections earlier this year, will pay a heavy price in the general election if Zuma is not removed.
Zuma is facing unprecedented pressure from all quarters to resign.
Last night, there was no word about whether agreement had been reached on Zuma’s fate. Insiders said outgoing African Union Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma defended Zuma at the meeting.
“She knows that with Zuma in charge the Premier League will campaign for her,” insiders said.
Dlamini-Zuma is expected to challenge Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa for the top job at the ANC elective conference next year.
Others who defended Zuma included Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula and Social Development Minister and ANC Women’s League president Bathabile Dlamini.
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The provinces said to have also rallied behind Zuma are North West, the Free State, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal, the Northern Cape and the Western Cape. Gauteng, Limpopo and the Eastern Cape are believed to have supported a motion for Zuma to step down.
The motion for Zuma to step down was supported by ANC economic transformation cluster head Enoch Godongwana.
Insiders at the meeting said Mantashe should be removed as ANC secretary-general as he was feeding information to EFF leader Julius Malema.