Zuma under siege as Cyril rallies party

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa warns those with a tendency of name dropping not to speak in his name. / MOELETSI MABE
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa warns those with a tendency of name dropping not to speak in his name. / MOELETSI MABE

ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa has warned national executive committee (NEC) members never to abuse his name to gain favours.

This is because ANC leaders would previously do wrong things and get tenders or jobs, saying it was an instruction from the president.

President Jacob Zuma's name has been used several times, including when the Gupta family landed a plane at a national key point at Waterkloof Air Force Base, but he has never distanced himself.

Ramaphosa also told NEC members that all the lobby groups set up by different presidential hopefuls ahead of last year's ANC elective national conference should disband.

This formed part of his message when he opened and closed the NEC meeting in Irene, Pretoria, last week.

Ramaphosa emphasised that it was important to read the mood of the people and it was also important for the new leadership to do things differently.

This led to the NEC agreeing that the governing party should make decisions based on research, not on factions.

"He was clear that corruption has to be dealt with urgently and we must reconnect with the people," a senior ANC leader who attended the meeting said.

Meanwhile, ANC officials have given Zuma three options to vacate the highest office in the land.

This means he could be impeached or a motion of no confidence would be tabled in parliament. The ANC NEC overwhelmingly told officials that Zuma must go now or else the process would be left to parliament.

"The mood in the country is for change. The longer Zuma stays, the more people will lose confidence in the new leadership of the ANC," sources said.

They said that was what's most NEC members said.

However, other NEC members who were re-elected back into the NEC claimed that the previous NEC had agreed that Zuma must finish his term as president of the country.

"This was defeated by other members who proved that the previous NEC never took such a decision," another NEC member said.

Yesterday, Zuma's office released a statement that gave an indication that the state president was going nowhere.

Zuma's public diary indicates that he would deliver the state of the nation address on February 8.

ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule said the ruling party has not arrived at the decision wether Zuma should go or not, therefore, there was no timeframe given as to when Zuma should vacate his office.

"This matter was discussed at the NEC but there are no timelines. There will be interaction between President Ramaphosa and President Zuma," said Magashule yesterday.

However, that is something sources claim is not true.

"This issue is being discussed," said one of our sources.

The ANC, meanwhile, has decided to establish interim structures in KwaZulu-Natal and Free State in place of the disbanded provincial executive committees.

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