The ANC national working committee (NWC) wants the Speaker of the National Assembly Baleka Mbete, to postpone Thursday’s state of the nation address (Sona) until President Jacob Zuma is kicked out of office.
ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa was expected to meet Mbete and National Council of Provinces (NCOP) chairperson Thandi Modise on Tuesday to discuss the possibility of postponing Sona until President Zuma leaves office in line with the NWC’s resolution taken during its meeting on Monday night.
The national executive committee (NEC) will meet on Wednesday to discuss Zuma’s recall as recommended by the NWC. This comes after Zuma showed the ANC top six officials the middle finger during a meeting with him on Sunday where they tried to convince him to voluntarily hand in his resignation. Zuma, according to ANC insiders told the officials he would only accede to their demand for him to step down if the NEC took such a decision. Zuma also demanded he be given space to make representations to the NEC on why he should not step down.
The State President apparently accused the officials of allowing opposition parties to dictate the agenda of the ANC. “He told the officials there’s nothing new about the calls for him to step down as the opposition has been singing the same song in the past few years,” said an NWC member who asked not to be named.
The Mail & Guardian has been reliably informed that during the NWC meeting, the top six officials expressed their disappointment with Zuma after he rejected their proposal that he should step down. Ramaphosa and ANC secretary general Ace Magashule were also expected to meet Zuma in Cape Town on Tuesday to inform him of the NWC decision to ask Parliament to postpone Sona until he resigned.