Will Zuma go?

2016-11-28 09:17
President Jacob Zuma. (AFP)

President Jacob Zuma. (AFP)

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The extended ANC NEC meeting is undoubtedly one of the most important political events in South Africa for the past decade, says Prof. Susan Booysen, a lecturer of politics at University of the Witwatersrand.

"The extended NEC meeting is certainly not normal and we know that what is unfolding are deliberations at the highest level about the future of the president," she says. "We know what is at stake. We know he'll go in due course, but it is also important to see when he goes. For the first time in almost a decade the NEC is waking up, saying they're seriously considering recalling the president."

Booysen says this is significant because the NEC members have to overcome their own hurdles, such as their deep loyalty to President Jacob Zuma. At the same time there is a history of damage caused to the party by recalling President Thabo Mbeki that would be fresh in everyone's minds.

Will Zuma be recalled as president today?

This is crystal ball stuff, but there is a 50/50 chance, says Booysen.

"What we do know is if there had not been a serious discussion about it, the meeting would've ended yesterday. There is an existential debate going on between members. People are emotional and I understand that some have even almost come to blows. At this stage it's impossible to say whether he will be recalled, but there is a serious possibility."

What will the repercussions be if the motion to recall Zuma fails?

According to Booysen there will likely be very serious implications if the motion to recall the president fails, especially for those members who is driving the motion. 

"One would hope that the president is driven by reason and that public pressure will keep him from firing the members who advocated for his departure, but we know that he is willing to do anything for his own survival. He is happy to push through with these decisions and we may very well see a cleansing operation if the motion fails," she says. 

"It is a dangerous president who is wounded and angry and it may well make him reckless. We've seen his temperament. He doesn't care about the country or even the ANC. If he's let off the hook for now, we may all be in for serious trouble."

Read more on:    anc  |  jacob zuma

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