The ANC national executive committee (NEC) has resolved that the party should this week table its own motion of no confidence in Parliament against President Jacob Zuma. This is after Zuma rejected the NEC’s instruction for him to step down immediately.
ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa told the NEC meeting Zuma wanted a 3-month notice before he stepped down to allow him to attend the BRICS summit that will be held in South Africa later this year and the African Union meeting in a few weeks time. The NEC rejected Zuma’s request and demanded he steps down immediately to allow Ramaphosa space to restore the lost confidence in the 106-year-old party.
Only a few of Zuma’s supporters including ANC Youth League president Collen Maine, State Security Minister Bongani Bongo and Minerals Minister Mosebenzi Zwane wanted the ANC to consider Zuma’s request to stay for another three months.
Speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete also told the NEC meeting last night that Zuma had stated in his letter requesting the postponement of the State of the Nation Address last week, that he will step down before the end of February.
“When the NEC instructed Ramaphosa and Magashule to go tell Zuma they want him out immediately, she [Mbete] asked them to check with the president what happened to that commitment to resign in February. He [Zuma] told the two leaders he never said such a thing [resigning in February],” said an NEC member who attended the meeting.
The NEC member said the meeting between Zuma, Ramaphosa and Magashule did not last long. “He was very arrogant. He told them [Ramaphosa and Magashule] he was not going anywhere as he did nothing wrong. He told them if the ANC issued a statement on its decision to recall him, he will retaliate by issuing his statement. They [Ramaphosa and Magashule] told him to resign in 48 hours failing which the ANC will table its own motion by Thursday.
“We will ask the ANC chief whip to start the process to table its own motion,” said the NEC member. Mbete was on Tuesday expected to respond to a request by the Economic Freedom Fighters to bring forward the motion of no confidence against Zuma to this week. It was initially scheduled to take place on February 22.
The NEC wants Ramaphosa to be sworn in as South Africa’s new president by Friday the latest and deliver the State of the Nation Address before the budget speech later this month.
Below is what President Zuma had to say to supporters when he survived a vote of no confidence in August 2017.