54th ANC National Conference 25.12.2017 08:06 pm

Secret discussions have begun to have Zuma exit before his term ends – report

Outgoing president of the ANC Jacob Zuma takes the stage to address delegates at the ANC National Elective Conference at Nasrec, Johannesburg on 16 December 2017. Picture: Yeshiel Panchia

Outgoing president of the ANC Jacob Zuma takes the stage to address delegates at the ANC National Elective Conference at Nasrec, Johannesburg on 16 December 2017. Picture: Yeshiel Panchia

Several ANC insiders have revealed how talks are already being held within the ruling party to map out Zuma’s exit before the general elections in 2019.

Zuma’s appeal against a ruling made by the court that he be held liable for costs of the state capture report and for deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa to appoint the head of the National Prosecuting Authority, has placed him in a precarious position as the ANC considers that it now has two centers of power.

According to Sunday Times, secret talks are planned for after December 25, in which this will be raised and put forward as a reason for Zuma to step down from his position as state president.

ANC bosses are concerned that two centres of power with Ramaphosa heading Luthuli house and Zuma the government, would make problem solving and legal battles difficult.

Ace Magashule, newl elected secretary general, police minister Fikile Mbalula and deputy minister of agriculture Bheki Cele have been involved in arranging the talks, the weekly reports.

Though Zuma has three allies in the top six in the form of DD Mabuza, Jessie Duarte and Magashule, a source said Mabuza would vote to have Zuma leave.

“The likelihood is that DD will be with us. It’s a question of numbers in the NEC. I think we are in a better position than them. We’re dealing with a president who in two years’ time will be president [of] the country and that’s a serious factor in our favour … we also have the numbers there, we’re not going in with 30 people. We have over 40 comrades who are very progressive,” the source said.

“The NEC will have to sit down, look at issues and look at resolutions. It will be difficult to attack individuals without reflecting on issues. I don’t think it will be correct. We must not rush things because it might divide the ANC,” said arts and culture minister, Nathi  Mthethwa about negotiating an early exit for Zuma.

Political analysts have noted however, that Zuma will finish his ter,.

“I don’t think there will be any need to humiliate him. It won’t serve any purpose,” political analyst Ralph Mathekga said. “If you look at the mix of the top six, it is very clear that there are still some of Zuma’s allies there.

That means he will be guaranteed a non-humiliating exit. And I don’t think the president would still want to hold onto power.”

According to another political analyst, Daniel Silke, “there was never any past issue of there being a recall” for Zuma. However, Silke was of the view that that there would be a need to “unite the position of ANC president as South African president as soon as possible”.

“I would find it peculiar if Zuma delivered the State of the Nation address in February.

“It would undermine the importance of the address. The fact that it would not be delivered by Ramaphosa would add to the confusion already in the ranks of the ANC and it would lead to the potential of two centres of power.”

Zuma must ‘personally pay’ if appeal fails – FEDUSA

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