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By Eric Naki

Political Editor

Motion of no confidence in parliament only option for ANC if Zuma refuses to go

No-confidence motion only option open to ANC if president refuses to go.

Either the Ramaphosa-Zuma bilateral talks have stalled, leaving the ANC’s top-six with no option but to summon the party’s national executive committee to make a final decision on President Jacob Zuma’s fate, or the talks have been concluded and the committee will today ratify their agreement.

That was the views from leading political analysts yesterday regarding the impasse in Zuma’s impending ousting.

Professor Dirk Kotze yesterday told The Citizen it seemed the ANC’s NEC meeting was cancelled at the last moment so as to afford Ramaphosa a chance to persuade Zuma to vacate office voluntarily.

But Kotze says the talks had broken down or the two leaders could not agree on key issues. “I think that is probably the situation. The NEC was called to take a decision to remove Zuma because Ramaphosa likely could not make any more progress on the talks,” Kotze said, referring to the NEC meeting scheduled for today.

According to him, Zuma was acting like Robert Mugabe, who clung to power until he was threatened with impeachment.

Kotze said the only way forward now was for the NEC to recall Zuma. Analyst Daniel Silke said it could be that a deal has been pencilled in and that Ramaphosa wants to report back to the NEC, after which Zuma would resign.

“If the talks had failed … the NEC would ask Zuma to step down,” Silke said.

But Steven Friedman, political scientist from the University of Johannesburg, said a motion of no confidence in parliament was the only option for the ANC if Zuma refused to go.

The ANC yesterday attempted a final push to deal with Zuma. Emerging from week-long discussions with him in Cape Town and Pretoria, Ramaphosa yesterday said the ANC top brass would finalise his fate today.

Addressing the launching rally of the Nelson Mandela Centenary celebrations at the Grand Parade in Cape Town yesterday, Ramaphosa assured South Africans that national unity and the unity of the ANC were paramount in their negotiations with Zuma.

“We know you want this matter to be finalised, we know you want a closure in this matter,” he said.

Although the details of the negotiations remain shrouded in secrecy, it has been reported that Zuma demanded state-sponsored legal representation if he appears in court on corruption charges and increased security for his family.

A possible plea bargain was reportedly also on the table, whereby Zuma would become a state witness for the prosecution of those involved in state capture.

Zuma’s intransigence has resulted in the unprecedented postponement of the annual State of the Nation address. DA federal council chairperson, James Selfe, said if Zuma’s demands were met by the ANC, it would be a damning indictment on Ramaphosa and an insult to South Africans.

“Zuma broke his oath of office, wilfully disrespected our constitution and brought our economy to its knees. He must be prosecuted and, if found guilty, be locked up for his crimes.”

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa said the ANC’s backdoor negotiations with an “irredeemable president” spoke of scheming and shady dealing.

“Parliament has been reduced to a toothless talk show where the ruling party fights political battles regardless of the impact on South Africans.” 

– Eric Naki


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