As President Jacob Zuma’s wife, Thobeka, launched a scathing attack against Cyril Ramaphosa and the ANC yesterday, insisting her husband was not going anywhere, the ruling party’s top brass may have no choice now but to remove Zuma.
After a politically charged week in which there were a number of postponements by the ANC, including the State of the Nation address and various ANC activities, leading analyst Ralph Mathekga said: “Fire President Zuma. That’s all you can do now.”
It is believed a special sitting of the national executive committee (NEC) this weekend will finally decide Zuma’s fate.
Another analyst, Andre Duvenhage, said if Zuma still refused to resign, the ANC NEC had to recall him.
“Even at the bitter end Zuma is playing tricks. The only way now is to get the NEC to decide to fire him. Otherwise get rid of him in parliament,” he said.
“What is important is for Cyril Ramaphosa to present the State of the Nation address … that will be good for his image and his future.”
One of the president’s wives, Thobeka Madiba Zuma, yesterday lambasted Ramaphosa and the ruling party on Instagram.
She threatened in Zulu: “It’s going to get rough, don’t fight with someone who is not fighting you.”
In an apparent jab at Ramaphosa’s struggle credentials, she added: “Zuma did not join the ANC in 1991, jump ship or hip-hop between the struggle and wealth accumulation. “Zuma will finish what he started because he doesn’t take orders from beyond the Atlantic Ocean.”
The ANC top six cancelled all their walkabout activities in Cape Town townships yesterday to make a final push to force Zuma to step down as head of state.
Mathekga, author of the book When Zuma Goes, expressed concern about Zuma’s wife’s comments.
“It is worrying indeed. If this is said by the first lady, what does it mean? She can only mean one thing … that Zuma is not going anywhere,” he said.
“This matter is more intense now. I hope they are going to kick him out. Zuma has become arrogant and the longer they let him stay the more the country remains in this mental siege.”
Reports emerged yesterday that among Zuma’s conditions for his resignation were for his legal fees to be waived as the corruption allegations against him were made while he was in office.
United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa said: “Why must he be treated any differently from any other suspected criminal?”
The president reportedly also demanded protection for his family as he feared for their safety once he left office. But Duvenhage said: “I don’t think they can secure him anything because a lot of his court cases are criminal in nature.
“We are at the end of Zuma now … these are the last kicks of a dying horse.”
The DA and other opposition parties have given the ANC until tomorrow to resolve the Zuma impasse.
If it fails, the parties threatened to submit another motion of no-confidence in Zuma and demanded parliament must sit next week.