Zuma’s fears over two 'power centres' come true

2017-12-25 14:30
President Jacob Zuma. (Jaco Marais, Gallo Images, Beeld, file)

President Jacob Zuma. (Jaco Marais, Gallo Images, Beeld, file)

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Johannesburg - In January this year, the two centres of power between the ANC and the government was only a theoretical apprehension of President Jacob Zuma’s. However, by December it has become the sticky reality in which he finds himself entangled.

During an SABC news interview in January this year, Zuma commented that, if the president of the ANC was to be a different person to the president of South Africa, "in this case, you are creating a kind of two centres of power that could, in a sense, compete in one form or another".

He continued explaining that, since the ANC was the ruling party, its policies were those that needed to be implemented by the government.

As such, "you would actually be saying the president of the ANC must instruct the president of the country and at times, there may be things that happened, [which] the president of the ANC [might be] feeling: 'Look is it right?'

"So, we generally had an understanding that it would not be good to create two centres," he said during the interview.

Early this month, at the ANC’s 54th national conference held in Johannesburg, the country’s deputy president, Cyril Ramaphosa, was elected as the ANC’s president, taking over from Zuma. 

Yet, Zuma is officially expected to serve as the country’s president until the 2019 national elections.


On the subject of deputies succeeding the president, Zuma told the SABC at the time that it was not an official ANC policy. It was merely a "understanding that emerged in the ANC".

Ramaphosa launched a thinly veiled attack on Zuma during his maiden speech at the party's national conference.

He said that, under his administration, the ANC would not be a party of words, but a party of action.

"Those who are deployed by our movement should always be a source of pride and not a source of embarrassment. They are deployed so that they can bring us closer to the national democratic society to which we aspire," he said.

Zuma's reaction

A video by an eNCA reporter showing Zuma’s subtly emotive reaction to the appointment of Ramaphosa – who was competing against Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma for the top position at the conference – went viral on social media. 

Read more on:    anc  |  jacob zuma  |  cyril ramaphosa

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