President Zuma in ANC standoff
Tensions between the ruling party and its deployed cadre as head of state came to a dramatic head yesterday in a push for him to resign
THE stand-off between the ANC and its former president Jacob Zuma fast approached a climax yesterday.
Tensions between President Zuma and the party that he has served for most of his life rose dramatically yesterday as the ANC unceremoniously told him it was not prepared to wait any longer for his resignation.
The ANC showed its seriousness to remove Zuma when it announced it would table a motion of no confidence in the National Assembly today.
Drawing a line in the sand, the ANC parliamentary caucus said it would propose party president Cyril Ramaphosa as its candidate for President of the Republic of South Africa.
After being sworn in, most probably tomorrow morning, he will rise in Parliament tomorrow night to deliver his first state of the nation address, the ANC said.
The ANC said Ramaphosa would also have to appoint a new Cabinet because the Zuma Cabinet will also have to resign once Parliament fired the President. Neither Ramaphosa nor the ANC leadership has raised who should be the new Deputy President. The ANC’s hardnosed stance found favour with political parties, which yesterday agreed to hold a vote of no confidence today.
Their support meant that the vote, which would have had to be decided by a majority of one, would probably be carried by a majority. That was another sign to President Zuma that the writing was on the wall.
Other signs that the tide was turning against him was an announcement by Speaker Baleka Mbete that she has resolved that the vote should not be in secret.
She said this decision would strengthen Parliament’s efficiency in its oversight of the executive.
But the harshest message came from Mashatile. “If the President will at some point respond he will respond but we can’t continue waiting. The decision has been taken and it must be implemented,” Mashatile said.
The ANC has asked chief whip Jackson Mthembu to proceed with the motion of no confidence tomorrow in Parliament. “So that President Zuma is then removed so that we can proceed to elect president Rampahosa.”
Mthembu, who briefed the media with Mashatile, said about a resignation that “the ball is in his court”.
He said that the budget would not be postponed. “So we are saying as it stands now we have a budget speech and statement scheduled for February 21. That has not changed. That has not been postponed.”
These days there is a buzzword in South Africa, which is postpone. “The budget has not been postponed. From where we are seated we will have a budget on the 21st.”
Meanwhile, EFF leader Julius Malema has called out President Zuma for claiming on SABC television yesterday he was one of those who had said president Thabo Mbeki should not be recalled.
“He’s talking rubbish‚ CR (Cyril Ramaphosa) is the one who opposed it. Zuma told me that we should remove Mbeki because he can’t work with him,” Malema tweeted.
DRAMATIC TURN: President Jacob Zuma and the ANC yesterday crossed swords, with the ruling party expressing frustration with his delaying tactics.