Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Zuma puts on brave face at Cape Town cabinet meeting

President Jacob Zuma appeared to be in a jovial mood as he smiled and waved at journalists as he left his official Tuynhuis residence in Cape Town on Wednesday, where he met with ministers for cabinet meeting. This was despite speculation that his resignation as head of state was imminent.

Zuma continued with “business as usual” on Wednesday, meeting ministers for cabinet committee meetings at the parliamentary precinct for most of the day.

On Tuesday night, Zuma and ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa held discussions about his future as head of state, and called off a special national executive committee meeting of the party after a “fruitful” conversation.

But the content of these discussions were not revealed in the cabinet committee meeting, and no plans were made for a transition of leadership, Communications minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane told the Mail & Guardian.

“There is no decision that the president will resign and there were no discussions held on a possible transition.”

Cabinet was continuing with its “normal work,” Kubayi-Ngubane said, insisting that she would not resign from her positions if Zuma resigns, as other ministers did after the recall of former president Thabo Mbeki in 2008.

“If there’s a decision like that, we’ll come out clearly to say what is going to happen from government point of view. Currently, there isn’t any decision like that.

Inside the meeting, Zuma was also in a good mood, Small Business Development minister Lindiwe Zulu told the M&G.

“He’s in a good mood. He’s doing his job, and his job is that of the president of the country. That’s what he’s doing. He’s always smiling, he never stops smiling.”

Meanwhile Ramaphosa acknowledged the anxiety created by uncertainty around Zuma staying in office. The new ANC president said there had been “a lot of speculation and anxiety about the position of President Jacob Zuma as the head of state and government of our country.”

Ramaphosa said the direct discussions with Zuma would lay the basis for a speedy resolution, but did not clarify if Zuma agreed to step down.

Zulu, however, did not believe that the possible premature end of Zuma’s term had created anxiety.

“Anxiety to who? That’s an agenda that’s out there,” Zulu told the M&G.

“We have an agenda as ANC, which is the mandate we got at conference, which by the way we are moving with. The NEC mandated the officials to engage with [Zuma] and that’s what they’re doing. We are not going to allow anyone to set an agenda as the ANC. We can’t allow other people to misdirecting us,” she added.

Zulu also stressed that both Zuma and Ramaphosa should be treated with respect, and entrusted to find a solution to the impasse.

“President Cyril Ramaphosa is a president of the ANC, respectfully, having been given the mandate. President Jacob Zuma is the president of the country, respectfully, elected during the last elections,”

“Those two gentlemen, comrades, have the capacity to deal with the issues confronting the ANC. All of us are not afraid of that. It’s actually a good thing that they finding each other,” Zulu said.

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Govan Whittles

Govan Whittles is a general news and political multimedia journalist at the Mail & Guardian. Born in King William's Town in the Eastern Cape, he cut his teeth as a radio journalist at Primedia Broadcasting. He produced two documentaries and one short film for the Walter Sisulu University, and enjoys writing about grassroots issues, national politics, identity, heritage and hip-hop culture.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

South Africa breaking more temperature records than expected

The country’s climate is becoming ‘more extreme’ as temperature records are broken

Environmental groups welcome China’s pledge on coal

Will China’s end of coal finance be the final nail in the coffin for MMESZ?

More top stories

South Africa breaking more temperature records than expected

The country’s climate is becoming ‘more extreme’ as temperature records are broken

Environmentalists are trying to save South Africa’s obscure endangered species

Scientists are digging for De Winton’s golden moles, working on the mystery of the riverine rabbit and using mesh mattresses to save the unique Knysna seahorse

Shadow states infest Africa’s democracies

Two recent reports show evidence that democracy in Africa is being threatened by private power networks

The West owes Africa $100bn (at least) for climate recovery

In fewer than three days, a US citizen emits as much carbon as a person from Chad or Niger does in one year. Such is the asymmetry in culpability for climate change.
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×