New plan to recall Zuma during NEC meeting

ANC chairman Gwede Mantashe jokes with the media during the  ANC NEC meeting held at Saint George's Hotel in Irene, outside Pretoria, yesterday. With him are top-six members Jessie Duarte, Ace Magashule and Cyril Ramaphosa.
ANC chairman Gwede Mantashe jokes with the media during the ANC NEC meeting held at Saint George's Hotel in Irene, outside Pretoria, yesterday. With him are top-six members Jessie Duarte, Ace Magashule and Cyril Ramaphosa.
Image: MASI LOSI

Fresh plans are afoot to recall President Jacob Zuma as the head of state.

Sowetan understands that ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa's camp had a caucus meeting in Pretoria on Wednesday where a plot to allegedly remove Zuma was hatched.

Former ANCYL deputy president Ronald Lamola was apparently prepared to raise a motion for Zuma to step down at the party's national executive committee (NEC) meeting, which kicked off yesterday in Irene, Pretoria.

An insider who was at the meeting said Lamola was to raise a motion for Zuma to step down at the meeting.

"Today (yesterday) or at the end of the meeting, Zuma would have gone. There was no consensus as to when he should leave office. But it is going to happen. He is going."

In a surprise departure from their position before Ramaphosa was elected in December, one of Zuma's strongest supporters, the ANC Women's League, said they would support any decision taken by the NEC.

"If the NEC takes a decision to recall the president, we will support it. It is an ANC decision ... there is nothing that we can do," ANCWL secretary- general Meokgo Matuba said.

But ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule again said yesterday that Zuma's removal was not on the NEC agenda.

"It is not an issue on the table. Remember, we have said in East London that there is interaction between president Zuma and [ANC] president Ramaphosa. That interaction is continuing," Magashule said could ahead of the NEC meeting.

If the motion is tabled, it will be the second time it is raised at such a meeting. The last motion, which was raised by former tourism minister Derek Hanekom, failed.

However, things have since changed now that Zuma is no longer the ANC president and some of his loyalists appear to be turning against him.

Those who had previously defended Zuma in the NEC meetings include the women's and youth leagues.

ANCYL spokesman Mlondi Mkhize said the league's president Collen Maine and other leaders were going to use the meeting to advocate that
Zuma should remain in office.

He said recalling Zuma would discourage ANC members in KwaZulu-Natal from voting for the ANC in the
general elections next year.

The Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans' Association, another of Zuma's strongest backers, has called on the NEC to concentrate on implementing conference resolutions.

Ramaphosa has again hinted that Zuma has to go.

He told a breakfast meeting in Sandton, Johannesburg, yesterday that he wanted to see action being taken against those who have done wrong things.

"The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) is beginning to move with speed and we welcome that," Ramaphosa said.

This comes after the NPA said it intended to serve a freezing order on the Gupta-linked Trillian and global consulting firm McKinsey to seize assets worth R1.6-billion.

Ramaphosa said the freezing of assets was an important component.

"But we want to see much more following on the actions that they [NPA] should have taken some time ago," he said.

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