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 New Age (Free State) - - POLITICS - DEN­NIS CRUYWAGEN news@the­newage.co.za

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.

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