Is Jacob Zuma staring down barrel of ANC gun?

ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte, ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa and President Jacob Zuma share an uneasy toast. / MUJAHID SAFODIEN / AFP PHOTO
ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte, ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa and President Jacob Zuma share an uneasy toast. / MUJAHID SAFODIEN / AFP PHOTO

ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa has given the strongest indication yet that President Jacob Zuma's days as head of the government are numbered.

But, at the same time, he said Zuma would not be humiliated.

In an interview with the SABC yesterday, Ramaphosa cautioned party leaders against humiliating Zuma, saying while the matter was "delicate", it "has to be addressed".

His comments come days before the ANC's national executive committee (NEC) meets on Thursday for an ordinary two-day session, where sources said the issue of Zuma's recall from the Union Buildings would be raised.

Ramaphosa said leaders of the ANC would deal with the matter "in the interests of the people of South Africa".

"It is a delicate matter, it has to be addressed taking into account the interests of the people of South Africa," he told the broadcaster, adding Zuma should not be humiliated.

"We will never humiliate President Zuma, that is one thing we are very clear on."

Several NEC members confirmed to Sowetan that the issue would be discussed and that Ramaphosa could take over from Zuma.

The NEC meeting will also elect the national working committee (NWC) members. That happens ahead of the ANC lekgotla to give direction of the state of the nation address next month.

Ramaphosa also said those implicated in state capture should face the law.

In East London on Saturday, Ramaphosa emphasised in the January 8 statement that the party's unity was sacrosanct, and that it would summon those who disturbed this to explain their actions to the ANC's headquarters, Luthuli House.

Ramaphosa is tasked to lead a fractured party and unify a leadership collective that was made up of two different slates following the governing party's national conference last month in Johannesburg.

"We must have the authority to immediately ask them and say 'why are you dividing this glorious movement of Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu'," Ramaphosa said, adding that members should be summoned to provide answers if they divide the party.

Regardless of unity talk, former ANC president Zuma was booed at least three times by supporters who attended the January 8 statement on Saturday, signalling their unhappiness with Zuma.

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

X