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Zuma would choose presidency over being a billionaire‚ analysts believe

By Kgaugelo Masweneng | 2017-07-16 14:53:07.0

President Jacob Zuma would not choose being a billionaire over remaining president‚ despite a recent report that a faction in the African National Congress (ANC) is offering the embattled president R2-billion to step down‚ political commentators believe.

The Daily Maverick has reported that the pro-deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa faction within the ANC is offering to raise the money in exchange for him to step down.

“The Daily Maverick has learned from two sources that financially remunerative amnesty was put before to the president. To be clear‚ this is not a rumour‚ but an actual political weapon that a faction of a faction in the ANC are willing to deploy‚” read the article.

But constitutional law expert Professor Shadrack Gutto brushed aside the purported tactic‚ saying that Zuma is well within his rights to be a president and will step down when he wants to.

Gutto says that it would not be in the personal interest of Zuma and his allies for him to accept the offer reported to have been made.

It is reported that the notion was put before Zuma for consideration but that he dismissed it.

“The conversation dominating the public domain on Zuma falling is complex. The anti-Zuma brigade needs to first establish if they want to him to step down as the president of the ANC or the president of the country‚ and then establish a solid how-to process.

“Then again‚ another conversation we should have is who will be his successor. There are plenty of qualified and deserving individuals ready and capable of taking over‚ but have they identified those people?” Gutto said.

Susan Booysen‚ a professor at the Wits University School of Governance‚ echoed these sentiments‚ saying that if the besieged president accepts such an offer‚ he would be making a public confession of all the charges brought against him throughout his term as president or before.

“This kind of money is only attractive to someone who lacks resources‚ and at the moment I doubt he does. It is more powerful being president than being a billionaire for him‚ so it is almost impossible that this will materialise. Besides‚ as it appears he is both a president and a billionaire; this bailout does not make sense.

“Zuma will exit on his terms‚ just as much as he does things on his terms. He will hold on to power for as long as he can. The tragedy is that there are people who have been complacent in keeping him in power. It will be difficult to pull the plug now‚” said Booysen.

The ANC's Zizi Kodwa says the reports are untrue.

“Any suggestion or insinuation that there was some negotiation of an exit package for the president is nothing else but fake news‚” he said.

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