S Africa's Zuma clings on in face of uncertainty

09 February, 2018, 04:56 | Author: Ellis Copeland
  • Postponement of SONA a victory for Ramaphosa – Pieter Groenewald

Mr Zuma, 75, was replaced as party leader by his deputy, Cyril Ramaphosa, 65, in December. "He can't tell us what to do", he said.

"Nobody explained in detail the ongoing discussions between comrades Zuma and Ramaphosa". "We want to ensure that we are not involved in motions of no-confidence, or impeachment that will affect our party".

The caucus sources also said that Ramaphosa explained that he chose to postpone the NEC meeting that was scheduled on Wednesday to seal Zuma's fate following a "change of tone" from a defiant Zuma. No election of a new president in the National Assembly is needed; it could just simply be acting president Cyril Ramaphosa, now South Africa's deputy president and the ANC's president.

However, Mr Zuma still has his supporters within the ANC - including at least two of the top six - so nothing is definite.

"These reports are false and the intention behind them is to negatively disturb the fruitful and constructive engagement between the president of the ANC and the president of the country around the question of transition", the statement said.

The audio of Paul Mashatile recorded from the Mining Indaba in Cape Town this week has revealed how a postponed national executive committee (NEC) meeting was expected to push Zuma out of the Union Buildings.

Zuma had been due to deliver the State of the Nation Address, scheduled today, and is the centrepiece of the political calendar, setting the government's priorities for the year ahead.

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"A new date for the state of the nation address will be announced very soon", Mbete said.

The divisions Zuma's leadership has exposed within the ANC were evident outside the party's headquarters in Johannesburg on Monday (Tuesday NZT), where the president's supporters and opponents staged rival protests amid a strong police presence.

Both Mr Zuma and the Guptas deny any wrongdoing.

Opposition parties are demanding that a vote of no confidence be held to remove Zuma.

In previous years, opposition lawmakers have shouted Mr Zuma down and been ejected from parliament by security guards in chaotic scenes.

Zuma meanwhile was chairing routine cabinet committee meetings on Tuesday and not holding a "special cabinet meeting" as reported in local media, his spokesman said, as pressure mounted on the scandal-plagued leader to step down.

Reacting to media reports‚ the DA said it would not "hesitate to approach the courts to stop Ramaphosa" from granting Zuma immunity from prosecution.

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