NEWS
19/01/2018 07:41 SAST | Updated 19/01/2018 07:48 SAST

Zuma's Removal Not Being Discussed By NEC--- Ace

Magashule says the party does not need to discuss Zuma's exit.

MUJAHID SAFODIEN via Getty Images
ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule (L) and ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte.

President Jacob Zuma's future will not be discussed at the ANC's national executive committee (NEC) meeting, currently underway in Irene, ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule told Business Day. Magashule reportedly said that ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa and Zuma had been in talks, and that this would continue.

"It's not an issue on the table; remember we said in East London there is interaction with President Zuma and [ANC] president Ramaphosa, and that interaction will continue," he said.

There has been speculation by analysts and insiders that Zuma's resignation or removal will be discussed at the NEC meeting. Several sources told HuffPost that there is a general feeling that Zuma cannot deliver the state of the nation address in February.

"The state of the nation address and the budget set the tone for the year and even beyond. It should be Ramaphosa's domain," an NEC member aligned to Ramaphosa said.

An NEC member also told HuffPost that even though Zuma's removal is not formally on the agenda for the meeting, it will certainly be on everyone's minds.

"Everyone is talking about it. It will be there and depending on what happens with the national working committee election, the issue might be forced," the NEC member said.

Business Day reported on Friday that there is a push from within the party to have the ANC's top six "handle" Zuma's removal without the NEC having to recall him. Sources told the paper that his exit will be on the agenda, despite what Magashule said.

Reuters quoted two NEC sources who said the issue would be discussed at the meeting. City Press also reported that NEC members were eager to see Zuma's removal tabled, with sources saying that behind-the-scenes discussions for his resignation having fallen flat.

But Ramaphosa has reportedly been warned against removing Zuma now, as it could fracture the party, News24 reported.

Magashule reportedly said the NEC would discuss the resolutions taken by the party at its December conference, including expropriation of land without compensation, and issues of the ANC's leadership in KwaZulu-Natal and the Free State.