NEWS
13/02/2018 06:02 SAST | Updated 13/02/2018 07:02 SAST

Zuma Exit: ANC Resolves To Recall Number One

President Jacob Zuma has reportedly been recalled by the ANC and has 48 hours to resign as state president.

President Jacob Zuma leaves Tuynhuys, the office of the Presidency at Parliament in Cape Town, South Africa, February 7, 2018.
Sumaya Hisham / Reuters
President Jacob Zuma leaves Tuynhuys, the office of the Presidency at Parliament in Cape Town, South Africa, February 7, 2018.

The ANC national executive committee (NEC) has decided to recall President Jacob Zuma after a 13-hour marathon meeting in Irene on Monday, according to multiple reports.

There is still no official word from the party, however, despite assurances that the issue of the "transition" would be resolved on Monday.

But according to several reports, the ANC's national executive committee (NEC) took a decision to recall Zuma as state president during a meeting that went on into the early hours of Tuesday morning. According to the SABC, he has reportedly been given 48 hours to resign as state president.

According to Business Day, Zuma has asked for three months' "notice" after which he will resign unconditionally, but the proposal was rejected by the NEC. This was so that Zuma could introduce Ramaphosa to various international bodies like the African Union (AU) and the United Nations.

ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa has been in talks with Zuma for weeks, after the party decided that he could no longer be state president.

But Zuma has reportedly dug his heels in, demanding a host of things during negotiations, including that his legal fees be covered by the state for his various court cases.

According to Daily Maverick, the meeting was expected to be short, and the NEC was largely expected to instruct Zuma to resign as state president.

But the marathon 13-hour meeting only ended at 3am on Tuesday morning. Ramaphosa's motorcade was reportedly seen leaving the venue at around 11pm on Monday, with sources saying ANC deputy president David Mabuza and secretary-general Ace Magashule accompanied Ramaphosa to visit Zuma where he was to be briefed.

The SABC reported that Zuma initially did not allow the motorcade in as it had arrived later than scheduled, but the officials were eventually allowed in.

The motorcade later returned and the meeting continued. Just after midnight, as the motorcade was leaving, Business Day reported that the officials had a mandate from the NEC to tell Zuma that he had been fired.

An NEC source told Business Day, "He must resign... the ANC president [Ramaphosa] has gone to communicate the decision."

There were also reports that Ramaphosa and company were told to give Zuma an ultimatum, that he should either step down or be recalled.

Hours before this, late on Monday afternoon, the SABC and the BBC began reporting that Zuma would go. The SABC reported that he had agreed to resign, while the BBC reported that he had been recalled. It would appear as if these reports were premature, but the sentiment from within the NEC was starting to become clear through sources already talking to the media.

In the early hours of Tuesday morning, shortly after the meeting ended, News24 and EWN also reportedthat the NEC had decided to recall Zuma. According to EWN, when Ramaphosa, Mabuza and Magashule went to see Zuma, he told them to "do what they want to do".

All the while, EFF leader Julius Malema, who has become a trusted source on all things transition-related, seemed to be receiving the same leaked information as the media.

Zuma reportedly asked to stay on as president for two more months to attend an African Union (AU) meeting and the Brics summit, according to sources who spoke to EWN, but the NEC reportedly refused.

Some sources who spoke to Business Day said Zuma's attempt to buy himself a few more months in office was so that he could conclude various deals, including the nuclear deal.

For now, Zuma remains head of state because the NEC's decision has no legal standing. This means he still has to either resign as state president or be removed by Parliament, either through impeachment or through a motion of no confidence.