*Recall precedes Parliamentary vote of no confidence
African National Congress (ANC) has given President Jacob Zuma an ultimatum to resign as head of state by the end of Tuesday or risk being removed by Parliament.
ANC secretary general Ace Magashule delivered Zuma’s recall letter to the presidential guesthouse on Tuesday morning after the party’s highest decision-making body, the national executive committee (NEC), decided after a marathon meeting that he should go.
www.gongnews.net has reliably learned that the balance of forces in the governing party had shifted “overwhelmingly” against Zuma. There was little sympathy for his perceived defiance of the ANC.
“Zuma is very emotional. He is speaking through the heart now. He is angry,” an inside source with knowledge of the discussions with Zuma said.
Zuma refused to resign: Zuma refused to resign during a terse meeting with ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa and other top officials at the presidential guesthouse late on Monday night. Ramaphosa was delegated by the party to inform Zuma of his imminent recall.
The meeting came after Ramaphosa failed to convince Zuma to resign voluntarily. Ramaphosa told the NEC that Zuma had insisted on a three months’ “notice period” to hand over the running of the state to his deputy. This was rejected by the NEC.
Last time to resign: “He was given one last chance to resign, but he refused. He was very emotional,” said the source. Zuma told Ramaphosa that he would respond publicly to an official letter from the ANC that recalls him, if the party decided to go that way.
Ramaphosa and his colleagues returned to the NEC meeting at Saint George Hotel outside Pretoria, where it was formally decided to recall Zuma.
Statement of the African National Congress following special meeting of the National Executive Committee held on the 12th February 2018:
13 February 2018
The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the African National Congress (ANC) convened a special meeting on Monday, 12th February 2018 at the Saint George Hotel, Tshwane. The meeting was called to reflect on the current situation as it pertains to the position of the President of the Republic of South Africa, Comrade Jacob Zuma.
The NEC received a report from the Officials on their engagement with President Zuma. These engagements had been informed by the commitment to pursue firstly the interest of the country and the ANC and the determination to handle the matter with utmost dignity.
The NEC noted the report of the Officials that the President had agreed in principle to resign and had proposed time frames extending from three to six months. While appreciating President Zuma’s proposal, the NEC noted that South Africa is going through a period of uncertainty and anxiety as a result of the unresolved matter of transition. Further that this uncertainty and anxiety will erode the renewed hope and confidence among South Africans since the 54th National Conference of the ANC.
The National Executive Committee firmly believes that this situation requires us to act with urgency in order to steer our country towards greater levels of unity, renewal and hope. We are determined to restore the integrity of the public institutions, create political stability and urgent economic recovery. Some of the matters we are contending with are the opportunistic maneuvers by the opposition in parliament including motions of no confidence in the President, calls for dissolution for parliament and other desperate acts. The ANC’s approach to this matter has, at all times, been informed by the interests of the South African people.
Sensitive of the need to handle this matter with dignity, the NEC once again sent a delegation to brief the President Jacob Zuma about the need to shorten the time frames so that this matter is speedily resolved. The NEC received feedback from the delegation that the President of the Republic did not accede to a shorter time frame.
The NEC therefore decided as follows:
- To recall its deployee, Comrade Jacob Zuma, in accordance with Rule 18.104.22.168 of the ANC Constitution, which accords the NEC the authority to “recall any public representative”.
There should be continuing interaction between the officials of the ANC and the President of the Republic.
The decision by the NEC to recall its deployee was taken only after exhaustive discussion on the impact such a recall would have on the country, the ANC and the functioning of government.
- The decision of the NEC provides certainty to the people of South Africa at a time when the economic and social challenges facing the country require urgent and resolute response by all sections of society.
- It is critical that South Africans are united around the task of growth, job creation and economic transformation.
- This decision will be communicated publicly and through appropriate forums to all structures of the ANC, Alliance Structures and all the Mass Democratic Formations.
All necessary parliamentary processes that arise from this decision will now ensue.