ANC’s national working committee wants Zuma out by next week

2018-01-31 13:30
President Jacob Zuma.

President Jacob Zuma. (File)

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The ANC’s national working committee (NWC) has told President Jacob Zuma to either resign or face being recalled.

Sources within the 20-member NWC who attended its meeting on Monday said members unanimously agreed that Zuma should not be allowed to deliver next week’s State of the Nation Address (Sona).

“It was accepted that allowing Zuma to deliver Sona would cause a lot of damage to the image of the ANC and render attempts to renew the party meaningless,” said a source.

“It was agreed that [ANC president] Cyril Ramaphosa and the other leaders in the top six should immediately convene a meeting with Zuma and convey the NWC’s position,” the source said.

Another source said there was a call in the meeting for an emergency national executive committee (NEC) meeting if the officials failed to “confront” Zuma about his resignation.

The NEC is the ANC’s highest decision-making body between national conferences. At Monday’s meeting the NWC also resolved that the provincial task teams (PTTs) recently appointed to replace KwaZulu-Natal and Free State’s disbanded provincial executive committees (PECs) should be reconfigured.

The two PTTs, whose selection was overseen by embattled ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule, are currently dominated by party members who supported former AU chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma during last month’s ANC presidential race. which was won by Ramaphosa.

“The conveners and co-ordinators in the two provinces have been instructed to reconfigure their respective PTTs to ensure that there is balance and inclusivity,” said an NWC member.

In KwaZulu-Natal, 12 of the 16-member PTT were members of the disbanded PEC that the courts had ruled was illegitimate. Magashule, who is also the Free State’s premier, has in recent weeks been at the forefront of a campaign to save Zuma. On Sunday he told ANC Youth League (ANCYL) members in Pietermaritzburg that Zuma would stay on as the country’s president until the expiry of his term next year.

Senior party members are worried about the impact a continued Zuma presidency would have on the ANC’s performance in the 2019 general elections.

Magashule has denied reports that the NEC resolved two weeks ago that Zuma should be removed as head of state. The ANC secretary-general instead told the media that the NEC merely requested that there should be regular meetings between Zuma and Ramaphosa.

Magashule’s stance on Zuma’s future is in stark contrast with that of Ramaphosa, who recently told the international media that talks about Zuma’s departure were taking place.

ANC spokesperson Khusela Diko could not be contacted on Tuesday.

KwaZulu-Natal PTT convener Mike Mabuyakhulu said he would wait for official communication from the party’s Luthuli House’s national office before introducing any changes to the PTT line-up.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  jacob zuma

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