Decision on Zuma imminent - Ramaphosa
- Author: Adam Floyd Feb 11, 2018,
Feb 11, 2018, 3:51
Earlier, Baleka Mbete, the speaker of the national assembly, said the ANC had postponed Zuma's State of the Nation address, saying the decision was taken in the "best interest of parliament and the country".
The crunch meeting of the National Executive Committee comes a day before Zuma was due to deliver the annual state-of-the-nation speech before parliament, in an unprecedented move, announced on Tuesday its postponement.
Overnight talks with top ANC officials failed to persuade him to quit, and a group of Zuma loyalists said they would march on Monday on the party's headquarters in downtown Johannesburg, Luthuli House, in support of the president.
Zuma, meanwhile, is still fighting almost 800 counts of corruption over an arms deal from the late 1990s and his ties with the Gupta brothers, a family of wealthy Indian-born businessmen, are the subject of a judicial inquiry on grand-level corruption.
"By and large South Africans have had enough of Zuma, they have had enough of his corrupt regime, they want to see him gone and they want to see the economy of the country and all the other issues dealt with, issues that can not be dealt with as long as Zuma is in power" he said.
The State of the Nation Address has been postponed.
One of his supporters in the ANC's NWC told Eyewitness News this week that "we can't defend him forever". A statement from the presidency later claimed Mr Zuma had requested the delay.More news: Palestinian shot dead after stabbing Israeli security guard
The uncertainty is indicative of a leader who shuffled cabinet and made key decisions in late-night announcements, with little warning.
Mr Zuma had led the ANC since 2007 and has been South Africa's president since 2009.
Magashule said he expected Ramaphosa to give a report to the NEC on his talks with Zuma.
Many graft allegations against him have centred on the wealthy Gupta family, who are accused of unfairly obtaining lucrative government contracts and even being able to choose ministerial appointments. The "pending actions in parliament" appear to refer to a vote of no confidence in Mr. Zuma, to be proposed by opposition parties on February 22, and to planning in parliament for impeachment proceedings, which has been mandated by the courts.
"It is not clear what the party will do", said Ebrahim Fakir, a political analyst, had said before the party's statement.
"The king is a bargainer, he could help Cyril (Ramaphosa) heal KwaZulu-Natal after Zuma goes".
ANC Deputy Secretary-General Jessie Duarte told a news conference that senior party officials would take a proposal to the NEC for discussion on Wednesday, but she declined to say what it was.
While Zuma is due to step down in mid-2019, his nine-year tenure has been marred by a series of scandals and policy missteps.