In the coming days …

2018-02-08 13:27
President Jacob Zuma, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, Ministers and Deputy Ministers at the scheduled routine meetings of cabinet committees in Cape Town on Wednesday.

President Jacob Zuma, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, Ministers and Deputy Ministers at the scheduled routine meetings of cabinet committees in Cape Town on Wednesday. (Elmond Jiyane (GCIS))

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President Jacob Zuma has been making headlines internationally this week, but there’s another South African we need to talk about …WATCH

ANC leader Cyril Ramaphosa says the future of President Jacob Zuma will be resolved “in the coming days”.

This follows discussions with Zuma that Ramaphosa characterised as “constructive and [which] lay the basis for a speedy resolution of the matter in the interests of the country and its people”.

There have been several indications from ANC leaders that Zuma had finally agreed to step down after the talks with Ramaphosa on Wednesday evening, but the nation was late last night still gripped by uncertainty.

This followed the ANC decision to call off its national executive committee (NEC) meeting scheduled for Wednesday. This meeting was expected to vote on Zuma’s recall and its cancellation triggered speculation that he had agreed to resign instead of being forced out of office by his party.

On Wednesday afternoon Ramaphosa issued a statement addressed to “fellow South Africans”.

“There has been a lot of speculation and anxiety about the position of President Jacob Zuma as the head of state and government of our country.

“I would like to clarify some matters in this regard,” he said. “Last night, President Jacob Zuma and I began direct discussions on the transition and matters relating to his position as the president of the Republic.

“The discussions were constructive and lay the basis for a speedy resolution of the matter in the interests of the country and its people.

“On the basis of the progress made, it was agreed to postpone a special meeting of the ANC National Executive Committee that had been scheduled for later today. This will enable President Zuma and myself to conclude our discussions and report back to our organisation and the country in the coming days.

“I am aware that the uncertainty surrounding the position of the head of state and government is a cause for concern among many South Africans. This is understandable.

“However, I am certain that the process we have now embarked on will achieve an outcome that not only addresses these concerns, but also unites our people around the tasks that all of us must necessarily undertake to build our country.

“We will be able to communicate further on President Zuma’s position as president of the republic once we have finalised all pertinent matters.”

He reassured South Africans that the work of government and Parliament would continue.

“This is a challenging time for our country. Both President Zuma and myself are aware that our people want and deserve closure.

“The constructive process we have embarked on offers the greatest opportunity to conclude this matter without discord or division.”

Political analyst Mcebisi Mdletyana said the delay in announcing Zuma’s exit was probably being caused by demands the president had made as a condition for his departure.

“It is a well-known fact that he is facing a number of legal problems that are likely to see him in and out of courts for the next few years. It is also highly likely that he would be summoned by the state capture commission of inquiry.

“So, it’s quite possible that he wants the state to take responsibility for the financial aspects of his legal problems,” he said.

Democratic Alliance (DA) Chief Whip John Steenhuisen said the official opposition was monitoring negotiations between Zuma and Ramaphosa closely to ensure that the any agreement the two reached was not in violation of the constitution.

“Should we find that the undertakings made to Zuma were against the constitution we will not hesitate to approach the court to get them set aside,” he said.


Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  jacob zuma

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