ANC: ‘GO NOW’

NEC agrees to tell Zuma to quit or be re­called — re­port

The Witness - - FRONT PAGE - CLIVE NDOU and NEWS24 • clive.ndou@wit­ness.co.za

THE ANC NEC was late last night re­ported to have de­cided to tell Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma that he must re­sign or be re­called, and given him 48 hours to re­act.

News24 re­ported a source in­side the NEC as say­ing party pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa and sec­re­tary­gen­eral Ace Ma­gashule had left the meet­ing venue to de­liver the news to Zuma.

There was no of­fi­cial con­fir­ma­tion or an­nounce­ment by the time of go­ing to press.

Ramaphosa’s car was seen leav­ing the St Ge­orge’s Ho­tel at Irene out­side Pre­to­ria, where do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional jour­nal­ists had been camped for hours, await­ing the news the coun­try had been promised.

Un­like at pre­vi­ous NEC meet­ings where jour­nal­ists were able to com­mu­ni­cate with in­di­vid­u­als in­side the talks, there was a com­plete in­for­ma­tion black­out, with ru­mours that NEC mem­bers were barred from bring­ing their cell­phones into the venue.

Ramaphosa had raised ex­pec­ta­tions when he an­nounced in Cape Town on Sun­day that the mat­ter around Zuma’s fu­ture was on the verge of be­ing fi­nalised.

Zuma, fac­ing al­le­ga­tions of state cap­

ture, could also face crim­i­nal charges should the Na­tional Pros­e­cut­ing Au­thor­ity (NPA) de­cide to re­in­state charges of cor­rup­tion and fraud that were with­drawn shortly be­fore he be­came the coun­try’s pres­i­dent in 2009.

Ramaphosa, who called yes­ter­day’s meet­ing fol­low­ing what sources claimed was the col­lapse of the week­long exit talks be­tween him and Zuma, is un­der pres­sure to get the pres­i­dent axed.

Ex­pec­ta­tions were high that the ANC, which does not have the power to re­move Zuma from of­fice, was go­ing use yes­ter­day’s NEC meet­ing to re­call Zuma and ini­ti­ate par­lia­men­tary pro­cesses to re­move him from power.

How­ever, fail­ure by the ANC to com­mu­ni­cate the NEC’s de­ci­sion on Zuma’s re­call left or­di­nary cit­i­zens, civil

or­gan­i­sa­tions and op­po­si­tion more con­fused than be­fore.

“It is dif­fi­cult for South Africans to un­der­stand why the ANC is tak­ing so long to make such a straight­for­ward de­ci­sion. Peo­ple are be­gin­ning to doubt whether this new ANC lead­er­ship has what is re­quired to pull out the coun­try from the chal­lenges it is cur­rently fac­ing,” Save South Africa con­vener Sipho Pityana said.

Mount­ing calls for Zuma to be re­moved as the coun­try’s pres­i­dent last week re­sulted in Par­lia­ment post­pon­ing the State of the Na­tion Ad­dress (Sona) that was pre­vi­ously sched­uled to be de­liv­ered by Zuma last week.

Po­lit­i­cal an­a­lyst Mce­bisi Mdletyana said the fact that the ANC had not yet re­moved Zuma sev­eral weeks af­ter in­di­cat­ing its will­ing­ness to re­call him showed that he was us­ing ev­ery loophole to avoid be­ing re­moved from power. “It ap­pears he is even will­ing to bring the ANC house down if that would mean him cling­ing on to power,” he said.

In the late af­ter­noon, hopes of a res­o­lu­tion wewre raised wh­ern the SABC re­ported that Zuma had agreed to step down.

How­ever, this re­port was dis­missed by both the ANC and the Pres­i­dency, which de­scribed it as “fake news”.

PHOTO: NELIUS RADEMAN (FOTO24)

Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma’s fate was be­ing de­bated yes­ter­day by the ANC’s na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee, which started closed­door talks at 2 pm. By the time of go­ing to press late last night, there was no news.

PHOTO: FELIX DLANGAMANDLA (NETWERK24)

A mo­tor­cade with NEC mem­bers en­ter­ing the St Ge­orge’s Ho­tel in Irene out­side Pre­to­ria ahead of the meet­ing to de­cide Ja­cob Zuma’s fate yes­ter­day.

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