ANC Still Deliberating On Who Will Do The Talking At Sona

The ANC has not taken a decision that President Jacob Zuma must step down as head of state, but the ANC Veterans League (ANCVL) is adamant that the president must go.

“We have not arrived at any decision. We are just saying there is this engagement, discussions which will actually take place between us (ANC officials) and President Jacob Zuma,” ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule said on Monday.

But, also on Monday, ANCVL president Snuki Zikalala said the NEC had decided that Zuma should step down.

Zikalalala said during the NEC meeting at the weekend that there was an overwhelming call for Zuma to step down.

The disparity in the comments coming from Magashule and Zikalala suggest the public face of the ANC wants to put out a perception that more insight is needed on the issue, whereas internally the decision on what to do with Zuma has already been taken.

“There might be those in the minority calling for him to stay, but the majority is the one that takes decisions.

“The outcome of the last NEC meeting was that comrade Cyril should pursuade him (Zuma) to leave, but he had to make sure that his dignity was not affected, and that he was not humiliated,” he said.

Zikalala said the ANCVL was complying with the majority in the NEC by calling for Zuma to step down.

“We want the ANC to unite, and two centres of power will not unite the ANC,” he said.

“In the last NEC we discussed that comrade Cyril must continue with negotiations so that he (Zuma) keeps his dignity and that he not be humiliated,” said Zikalala.

Zikalala said whether Zuma would be allowed to deliver the State of the Nation address next month would depend on his negotiations with Ramaphosa.

“The two centres of power cannot work because the president (Zuma) is at Union Buildings, and comrade Cyril is at Luthuli House, and President Zuma has to get instruction from the Luthuli House, which is very inconvenient for the two of them, so it is better to have one president of the ANC who is the president of the country.

“In that way, there won’t be mixed messages coming out of the ANC and the government,” he said.

However, Zuma’s office on Monday released his diary and the State of the Nation address was included in it.

It was also unclear what the party’s top brass would do should Zuma refuse to step down.

Ramaphosa, who is leading team South Africa at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, has insisted that Zuma should not be humiliated by the party as it tries to effect the transition.

On Monday, the ANC confirmed that its Top Six officials had been tasked with talking to Zuma regarding his future.

Several national executive committee (NEC) members told Independent Newspapers at the weekend that Zuma’s early departure from the Union Buildings was discussed and agreed on by the top brass when they held their first ordinary meeting.


Magashule confirmed that Zuma was discussed at the meeting, but denied that a decision on him to go was taken.

“Indeed, the officials were seized with this matter and the officials will remain seized with this matter,” he said.

“We have not arrived at any decision, we are just saying there are engagements and discussions which will take place between us and President Jacob Zuma,” he said.

When pressed further to explain what he meant by saying the officials were tasked with handling ‘the matter’, Magashule said: “I am talking about that matter, and I am saying this issue is an issue which is being discussed, and which was discussed by the NEC”.

Magashule said there was no timeline is dealing with the Zuma matter.

However, an earlier statement by Magashule on the outcomes of the party’s NEC meeting did not mention that Zuma’s fate was discussed.


Written by How South Africa

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