1. AN EAR
President Jacob Zuma derives his identity and purpose from the ANC so he will step down if he is asked, but he does want his comrades to hear him out. He is likely to tell them that he still enjoys constitutional power and presidential prerogative. Zuma does not want to feel rushed.
2. TO BID FAREWELL
Zuma wants to bid a formal farewell to the armed forces because he is commander-in-chief. He also wants to take dignified leave of the international stage. Ideally, he wanted to still be president when the BRICS summit of Brazil, Russia, India, and China gather in South Africa in July. Zuma counts South Africa’s role in BRICS as a significant part of his presidency. This is unlikely to happen.
3. TO DELIVER THE STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS
Zuma really wants to deliver Thursday’s state of the nation address as it is likely to be his final big opportunity to speak to the country.
4. LEGAL FEES
Zuma knows he faces the spectre of many court appearances even when he leaves office. He wants to know that his legal bills will be covered. They will be, but a confidant said he was concerned about the trend where courts were ordering delinquent politicians to pay their own bills.
5. A WARNING
Zuma wants the ANC to understand that it is setting a bad precedent if it axes him as president. Since former president Thabo Mbeki faced the same fate, the ANC is institutionalising a practice where its presidents do not complete their second terms.