It's a no from Zuma as ANC NEC fumbles

Not going without a fight: President Zuma has ignored calls from within his own party to resign. (Delwyn Verasamy/M&G)

Not going without a fight: President Zuma has ignored calls from within his own party to resign. (Delwyn Verasamy/M&G)

The ANC national executive committee (NEC) has reportedly resolved to recall President Jacob Zuma at its meeting in Irene on Monday. This follows Zuma’s refusal to step down following the NEC’s declining to grant him a three-month “notice period”.

Business Day on Monday said sources claimed Zuma had asked for the notice period to resign unconditionally, to allow him to chaperone and “introduce” Ramaphosa to international bodies such as the African Union Commission.

Zuma has allegedly refused to tender his resignation since his demands were not met, with the ANC now having to navigate the humiliating prospect of bringing its own motion of no confidence in Zuma. The ANC can recall the head of state, essentially forcing him to step down, but the process is a party-level instruction and he is under no constitutional obligation to obey.

READ MORE: Zuma: Critical, but stable

At about 10.30pm on Monday night, ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa left the St George’s Hotel for Zuma’s official residence in Pretoria.
This late-night housecall was to inform the state president of the NEC’s decision that he should vacate office. About 90 minutes later, Ramaphosa’s motorcade returned to the hotel to report back to the NEC.

Opposition parties have already sought to have Zuma removed through a motion brought by them, indicating they are willing to dissolve Parliament to end Zuma’s presidency. On Monday, opposition parties collectively called for early elections as the ANC’s leadership battle ground on.

“We must proceed to the dissolution of parliament… subsequent to that, we move on to an early election,” Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane told reporters.

Speaker of the National Assembly Baleka Mbete announced an Economic Freedom Fighters led request for a no-confidence vote against Zuma on Tuesday was still being considered.

The ANC is set to communicate the official outcome of its meeting by by 12pm on Tuesday.

Kiri Rupiah

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