Duarte’s disclosure could imply that the ANC’s senior leadership has reconciled over its differences in the recent cabinet reshuffle.
“Yes‚ we’ve known for quite a while. The president indicated in November that that was his wish and he was persuaded by us that he should wait a while‚” Duarte said at a media briefing after a special meeting of the national working committee (NWC).
“He explained his reasons then to us that his relationship between himself and finance minister Gordhan was not good‚” she said.
However‚ Duarte maintained that the president did not inform the top five about his intention to fire other ministers‚ but merely presented a list to his peers.
Secretary general Gwede Mantashe echoed his deputy. He said the fact that Gordhan had not been replaced by former Eskom boss Brian Molefe‚ as Zuma had wanted‚ was a sign of compromise among the ANC’s top six.
“The list was given to us‚ we did not discuss it [and] that’s why we raised the issue of lack of consultation on that matter‚” he said.
Mantashe also dismissed calls for ANC MPs to back a vote of no confidence against Zuma.