Zuma's tipping point rapidly approaching - expert

2016-03-31 17:40
President Jacob Zuma. (Walso Swiegers, Bloomberg)

President Jacob Zuma. (Walso Swiegers, Bloomberg)

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Cape Town – The Constitutional Court’s ruling on Thursday put further pressure on the cohesiveness of the ANC, and was likely to open up wounds and fissures, political analyst Daniel Silke told News24.

He said factions already existed in the ANC caucus over issues such as state capture, corruption, the spy tapes saga and the future leadership.

The judgment would have implications not just for the president, but for the ANC as a whole.

Efforts to find new party leadership might be a “messy and rather long-winded affair”. The local government elections were the “joker in the pack”.

If the ANC decided to keep supporting Zuma over the next few months, voters could decide his fate in the local government elections if the ANC lost fairly significant support.

Silke was not convinced Zuma had broad national support, particularly in urban areas.

“We also know that the brand of the ANC is much stronger in a sense, than the brand of its president or leader.

The ANC has the ability to reinvent itself, potentially with fresh leadership and potentially fresh structures going forward.”

For now, the dent in Zuma’s image might be serious enough to prevent the party from winning control of one or two metros, Nelson Mandela Bay and Tshwane, where the ANC was most vulnerable.

“Just on those two metros, if the ANC fails to gain a majority of the vote, it could guide in us whether Zuma survives beyond this year.”

Silke said the country was moving into uncharted waters.

“I do think though that the tipping point for President Zuma is rapidly approaching. Today’s judgment is a reflection of that.”

He said those riding on Zuma’s coat tails could find themselves in a very awkward position.

Opposition parties were smelling blood and if they could not derive benefit from recent events, they would find it very difficult to do so in future.

Silke’s interest was to see whether there would be further opposition to Zuma. He wondered whether protest movements and groups that had been pushing for change might coalesce around a political movement, and he was keeping an eye on former Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi.

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  nkandla upgrade

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