The ANC's national working committee (NWC) is set to convene an urgent meeting, following talks between President Jacob Zuma and the ANC's top six officials about Zuma's possible removal from office on Sunday night, News24 reported. This is reportedly an indication that Zuma refused to resign during Sunday's meeting, which ended at 10pm.
The 20-member committee will reportedly meet on Monday afternoon for a special meeting. The NWC was only scheduled to meet again next Monday.
On Sunday night, EFF leader Julius Malema tweeted:
He refused to resign and he told them to take a decision to remove him if they so wish to do so because he didn't do anything wrong to the country. He's arguing that he complied with all legal instructions including paying back the money, what more do they want from him— Julius Sello Malema (@Julius_S_Malema) February 4, 2018
The Sunday Times reported that Sunday's meeting was led by ANC deputy president David Mabuza, and was held at Zuma's official residence in Pretoria, Mahlamba Ndlopfu. The meeting was to discuss whether Zuma should deliver the state of the nation address this Thursday. Insiders reportedly said the top six were hoping to reach agreement with Zuma on the date of his departure from office.
ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa reportedly recused himself from the meeting after being requested to do so, to avoid any allegations of conflict of interest, as he is expected to take over from Zuma when he leaves office.
ANC acting national communications manager Khusela Diko told the Sunday Times that she could not confirm whether the talks would include Zuma's resignation, but said that the NWC would discuss the upcoming motion of no confidence in Zuma, tabled by the EFF in Parliament, and the impeachment process.
Former Gauteng premier and former Cope leader Mbhazima Shilow tweeted that this would be the second time in Zuma's career that he had refused to resign.
I was present when TM said he was going to fire JZ based on the Shaik judgement. Sikweyiya and Jordan asked him to resign, he said never as that would mean he accept the ruling. Wont be surprised if he said to ANC officials: "Do your damnedest"!— Mbhazima Shilowa (@Enghumbhini) February 4, 2018
Former ANC spokesperson Keith Khoza tweeted that this week would be critical for the ANC.
The week starting tomorrow will be interesting in defining the centrality of the ruling party on governance— ANC volunteer (@ANC_KKhoza) February 4, 2018
On Sunday morning, ANC national chairperson Gwede Mantashe told a congregation at a Katlehong church that the meeting was to ensure stability in the country.
"We want to ensure that there is stability in the country and stability in the ANC. That is why tonight we are meeting with President Zuma," said Mantashe, according to News24.
Mantashe asked for prayers for the ANC, saying that some people wanted to see violence erupt over the meeting. He reportedly said the meeting was not intended to humiliate Zuma.
"We are not going to that meeting to humiliate President Zuma or to rough handle him. We are going to have a discussion with him... what is in the best interest of the ANC, the country and the economy... We are asking for you to pray for us, so that there is peace in that meeting."
A "Hands Off Zuma" campaign, convened by the Black First Land First movement, plans to protest outside Luthuli House on Monday against Zuma's removal, according to Eyewitness News (EWN). The group reportedly said the problem was not Zuma, but "white monopoly capital", and said they would not vote for the ANC in 2019 if Zuma goes.
A counter protest has reportedly been planned by a group of ANC members calling themselves "Defend Luthuli House," EWN reported. The group's convener, Mkhululi White reportedly said Zuma's removal is a matter of urgency.
"The march (by "Hands Off Zuma") to Luthuli House is misdirected and misguided and instead of such they should lobby political parties in parliament to oppose the removal," he reportedly said.