Zuma recall not on NEC agenda,says Magashule

President Jacob Zuma's recall was apparently not discussed this week during a meeting to finalise the agenda of ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) meeting in East London on Tuesday, when . (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

President Jacob Zuma's recall was apparently not discussed this week during a meeting to finalise the agenda of ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) meeting in East London on Tuesday, when . (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

President Jacob Zuma’s recall as head of state is not expected to be discussed at the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) meeting in East London on Tuesday, ahead of the party’s January 8 statement.

Newly elected ANC secretary general Ace Magashule confirmed that the agenda for the meeting was finalised on Tuesday morning and only the preparation of the statement was expected to be discussed.

“This is our first special meeting of the [new] NEC. It’s just a meeting to present the January 8 statement so [that] all of us are aware of the statement. We debate and ... we adopt it and move forward. So the only item on the agenda is the preparation for the statement,” Magashule said.

Asked whether the two centres of power – where Cyril Ramaphosa heads the ruling party and Zuma is head of state – would be debated, Magashule said there was only one centre of power — the ANC.

He confirmed that Zuma and Ramaphosa had been meeting “continuously”.

“That matter is not for any discussion or debate. The president [of the country] and the president of the ANC [are] continuously meeting and engaging and I think there was no matter to be discussed,” Magashule said.

Pressed about whether a call for Zuma to resign could be raised from the floor during the NEC meeting, Magashule said this was not mentioned during discussions.

“[Zuma’s recall] did not come out. There was only one item on the agenda, where all of us collectively agreed, is that this is a special NEC. The matter on the agenda is the January 8 statement,” Magashule said.

Expectations that Zuma would resign as head of state intensified after Ramaphosa met ANC members in KwaZulu-Natal last week while he was visiting the graves of the party’s leaders.

At the commemoration of former ANC president Oliver Tambo’s death in Ekurhuleni, Gauteng, ANC chairperson Gwede Mantashe said there was nothing preventing the party’s new leaders from discussing the Zuma’s recall. He warned the president’s ardent supporters, who insist Zuma will complete his term as head of state, that their behaviour was dangerous.

“They must stop it because it is dangerous to the movement. It hurts Comrade Zuma. People must not abuse his name to cover for their own misdemeanours. The ANC can’t be sitting on the fence and it must lead the society. Leading society means we must enter painful areas,” Mantashe said.

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