News / South Africa

Gosebo Mathope
3 minute read
30 Jan 2018
5:25 pm

ANC top six instructed to tell Zuma to step down – report

Gosebo Mathope

A press statement whose authenticity The Citizen was unable to verify states the NWC prefers to 'manage the transition'.

News24 is reporting that the ANC’s national working committee (NWC) has instructed the party’s top 6 officials to tell President Jacob Zuma to step down before the State of the Nation Address (Sona).

The party’s NWC held its first meeting on Monday since being elected two weeks ago. It is said officials are expected to meet with Zuma as early as this week to inform him of the party’s decision.

News24 is of the understanding that some members of the NWC want Zuma to resign before the Sona, which will take place in two weeks’ time. “The NWC decided that the officials must tell him to resign and they are working to ensure that it happens before Sona,” an NWC member is quoted as saying.

Another source reportedly said there was a call in the meeting for an emergency national executive committee (NEC) meeting if the officials failed to “confront” Zuma about his resignation. Senior party members are reportedly worried about the impact his protracted stay will have on the ANC’s performance in the 2019 general elections.

A press statement whose authenticity The Citizen was unable to verify said during the meeting the NWC “held broad discussions on a range of issues relevant to the country and the ANC”.

“The NWC mandated the officials to meet with President Zuma with a view to discussing a set of actions that would place the ANC in good stead and enable us to best manage the transition,” the statement issued in Ace Magashule’s name said.

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The language of the statement, if duly issued by Luthuli House, is in direct contrast to sentiments expressed by Ace Magashule and Jessie Duarte criticising Cyril Ramaphosa over the weekend. The fissures became evident when David Mabuza supported Ramaphosa on his comments pertaining to Zuma.

Ramaphosa said during the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, that he could understand that former party president Jacob Zuma could be “anxious” as the party holds discussions on his future.

Speaking in KwaZulu-Natal on Sunday, Magashule said it was only factional leaders who wanted Zuma to step down. “There is no decision from the NEC for Zuma to resign. It is only factional leaders who want to be populist,” The Sowetan quoted him as saying.

In an interview with City Press on Friday, Duarte defended Zuma’s legacy, and distanced the party’s top six and the national executive committee (NEC) from ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa’s comments in Davos, Switzerland, this week that Zuma was “anxious” about his future.

In Polokwane, ahead of the province’s “January 8” celebrations, Mabuza at a gala dinner said power resided with the African National Congress and not in government. Media24 reported that Mabuza declared he would also always protect Ramaphosa, who has the task of turning around the rot that had seeped into the political party and some of the damage the ANC had done to the country over the past decade.

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