ANC caucus prepares to remove Zuma from office

The ANC caucus in Parliament will meet on Wednesday to discuss a motion of no confidence against President Jacob Zuma in case he refuses to step down in line with the ANC’s instruction.

The Mail & Guardian reported on Tuesday that the ANC NEC resolved that it would table its own motion of no confidence if Zuma failed to heed its call to resign. 

The former ANC president has refused multiple requests for him to resign, and told party bosses he would retaliate if they issued a statement about his recall. ANC secretary general Ace Magashule on Tuesday told journalists in Johannesburg that Zuma would respond to the party’s call for him to step down on Wednesday. He did not provide details on what Zuma was likely to say to the nation.

ANC MPs arrived early on Wednesday morning in anticipation of the meeting, which will be held at 11am. The scheduled chief whips meeting, which includes the leaders of all political parties in Parliament, was also pushed back from 10am to 2pm on Wednesday.

“Now the meeting will only take place at 14h00. Clearly ANC is paralysed until they know what Zuma decides,” Freedom Front Plus leader Corne Mulder said.

Parliament’s house chairperson Cedrick Frolick confirmed that ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu wrote to him asking that all committee meetings are postponed due to “political developments.”

On Tuesday night, a communique from the presidency stated that Zuma would brief the media today, and an email from presidency staff asking security to prepare the venue was circulated online.

But another statement denying that a briefing will be held was issued by the presidency on Wednesday morning.

ANC national chairperson Gwede Mantashe on Tuesday warned that the ANC would not protect Zuma against another motion of no confidence, but that it would also not allow its MPs “to be directed by enemy commanders,” and vote in favour of the EFF’s motion.

“When you resist the call to resign you leave us no choice but to let you fry in the vote of no-confidence motion because it means you do not respect the organisation,” Mantashe said at a rally in Butterworth in the Eastern Cape, where the ANC is celebrating the life of former president Nelson Mandela.

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba also confirmed that the ANC caucus would vote Zuma out of office in parliament if he refused to resign on his own accord.

“There is an ANC caucus [Wednesday] in the national Parliament where members of the ANC will deliberate on the issue and plan the way forward,” Gigaba told CNN on Tuesday night.

“It’s going to take place an hour after president Zuma would have addressed the nation at 10am‚ so we would know by then what’s the course of direction we’re going to take. But‚ surely‚ should he continue to refuse‚ should he refuse‚ we would then have to resort on a parliamentary process that‚ with a 62% majority and the support of other opposition parties‚ we are certain to pass,” Gigaba added.

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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.

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