A column in the Rand Daily Mail alleges that president Jacob Zuma may be secretly plotting a third term as president of the ANC.
The column notes that Although South Africa’s Constitution limits the president to a maximum of two terms, the ANC’s constitution has no term limits for its president.
The columnist questions whether Zuma can afford not to be president, in order to continue to service his relationship with the Guptas, stave off fraud and corruption charges, and the upkeep of his Nkandla homestead.
The RDM column noted that the current president has the support of the ANC Youth League, with help from the ‘Premier League’ – a lobby group led by the premiers of the Free State, North West and Mpumalanga, and has also garnered the support of the ANCWL having endorsed a woman to be the future president of South Africa.
According to News24, a highly placed source within the Tripartite Alliance said that money is being thrown around by the Premier League to buy votes and patronage.
The Tripartite Alliance is an alliance between the African National Congress (ANC), the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and the South African Communist Party (SACP).
“Currently, all indications are that the ANC is not capable of holding free and fair election within its elective conferences; a situation which favours Zuma,” the column read.
Zuma’s plan for a third term in 4 steps:
- In 2017, Zuma will be ‘persuaded’ to accept a nomination – like a reluctant hero (a role he played in 2008).
- In 2017, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma will be elected by ANC delegates to be the next SA President, and Baleka Mbete as SA deputy president.
- Whether in 2019 (after the ANC has won the General Election), or in 2017, Dlamini-Zuma will be sworn in as SA President, but Zuma as ANC President will be the power behind the throne – with none of the checks and balances built into the Country’s constitutional system.
- Dlamini-Zuma will be a sitting-duck, forced to resign (or be fired/recalled by the ANC) if she does not abide by Zuma’s will. Baleka Mbete can then be elected acting-President. Alternatively, due to a major flaw in the country’s constitution, Zuma can be elected by the majority party as acting-President for the remainder of Dlamini-Zuma’s term.
The columnist said that the Premier League and other allies may decide that the president is too much of a liability – with 2017 deemed to be a stretch too far.
A survey out last week, showed that president Jacob Zuma’s approval rating has dropped by as much as 28% – from 64% in 2011 to 36% in 2015.
The president’s approval rating is at its lowest level since 2000, according to the survey, published by research firm Afrobarometer.