POLITICS
14/02/2018 12:39 SAST | Updated 14/02/2018 16:20 SAST

STATUS UPDATE: Zuma Lashes Out At 'Comrades'

Wednesday looks to be President Jacob Zuma's last day in office.

SABC

[LATEST]

In a press conference, ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe said NEC members would be deployed throughout the country to convey their decision to recall Zuma to the party structures

"He (Zuma) has led this party for years and years and he remains the leader we all respect," Mabe said.

"Parliamentary processes have already begun because those in a nutshell would also facilitate what the ANC has already communicated on. So, I don't think there is an issue there."

Asked if he is certain that Zuma will announce his resignation, Mabe said he knows Zuma is a disciplined member of the party who will follow its constitution.

"We have always expressed full confidence in our members to be disciplined...We believe that when he said he is not defying, he was effectively speaking in the context of that oath (to the constitution of the ANC)," Mabe said.

He said the decision of Zuma's recall is final.

[EARLIER]

Its been a day of political drama like no other. In case you've missed it, this is what's happened today:

1. The Hawks conducted raids on the Guptas in Saxonwold as well as their associates with arrests being made.

2. Cabinet was supposed to meet this morning. It was postponed.

3. The meeting of parliament's chief whips was moved from 08:00 to 14:00.

4. The EFF decided not to go to court to force parliament to move up its motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma.

5. The ANC's caucus met for an hour and twenty minutes at 10:00.

6. Paul Mashatile, the ANC's treasurer-general, announced the ANC will move ahead and remover Zuma as head of state by either tabling its own motion of no confidence or amending the EFF's.

7. The EFF decided not to withdraw their motion of no confidence.

8. Zuma gives surprise interview to the SABC, lashing out Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and repeatedly asking: "What have I done?"

9. Zuma says he will give a statement to the nation today.

10. The ANC "takes note" of Zuma's interview. The party will have its own press conference at 16:00.

[EARLIER]

In an exclusive interview with the SABC, President Zuma said he would make an official statement on Thursday.

The head of state, however, said he does not agree with the ANC's decision to recall him, claiming the decision was unfair. He repeated on numerous occasions that he had asked the party what he had done wrong, a question that he said officials did not have an answer to.

"This is being done in a manner that I felt I'm being victimised here. I never defied; I disagreed with the decision, because my feeling is the decision is not right," he said.

[EARLIER]

Speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete has now agreed to reschedule the motion of no confidence for Thursday.

Parliament's full statement below:

"National Assembly Speaker Ms Baleka Mbete has sent a letter to Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Leader Mr Julius Malema informing him that she has decided to reschedule the motion of no confidence in the President for Thursday, 15 February 2018 at 14.00.

"The Speaker's decision was made after consultation with the Leader of Government Business and the Chief Whip of the Majority Party and is subject to the National Assembly's Programme Committee agreeing to the scheduling of a sitting for 15 February 2018.

"A special meeting of the Programme Committee is being scheduled for 15.00 this afternoon to deliberate on the matter.

"With regard to the EFF request of 3 February 2018 for the vote on the motion to be conducted by means of secret ballot, Ms Mbete said she had determined that voting would be by open ballot.

"Section 57 of the Constitution, 1996, directs the National Assembly to conduct its business, among others, with due regard to representative and participatory democracy, accountability and transparency. Ms Mbete said in her letter that she believed that this decision strengthens Parliament's efficiency in its oversight of the Executive."

[EARLIER]

ANC CAUCUS BRIEFING

Paul Mashatile, ANC treasurer-general:

1. "ANC proceeding with a motion of no confidence"

2. "Can't continue waiting."

3. "President Jacob Zuma can respond whenever he wants to."

4. "Deadline for Zuma to resign is today [Wednesday]."

5. "The ANC will engage the presiding officers to schedule a motion of no confidence on Wednesday."

6. "We want to move quick[ly], all systems go, it is a new era... [to wait] is unfair to everyone."

Jackson Mthembu, ANC chief whip:

1. "We might even engage the chief justice to elect a new president tomorrow [Thursday]."

2. The ANC will engage with opposition parties.

3. The ANC is finalising who will be on the speaker's list to argue the ANC's case.

4. The current motion that is on the order paper will have to be debated, amended or withdrawn by the EFF.

5. The ANC is wary to endanger the tabling of the budget speech.

6. The state of the nation address can be held on Friday at 7pm.

7. "Our country is in a state of limbo."

Once the motion of no confidence is voted upon in parliament, the ANC will then move for the office of the Chief Justice to swear in Cyril Ramaphosa as president.

"We asked [Mthembu] to proceed with a motion of no confidence [on Wednesday] ... so that [Zuma] is removed and we can proceed to elect [Ramaphosa]," Mashatile said.

He said there were no objections from the ANC caucus.

Mthembu said the EFF "flatly refused" to retract their motion so the ANC has gone ahead with making amendments to it

"If he (Zuma) resigns tonight, it means by tomorrow when the assembly sits there is no president. It will fall off. The ball is in his court," Mthembu said.

He said the question of whether the vote will be done via secret ballot is up to national assembly speaker Baleka Mbete, but the ANC has "no qualms" with voting openly.

The EFF leadership meanwhile is currently locked in a meeting at Parliament to consider its position after apparent overtures by the ANC to either withdraw its motion of no confidence in Zuma or allow it to be amended.

Godrich Gardee, the party's secretary-general and MP, confirmed to HuffPost that the leadership — presumably including party leader Julius Malema and chief whip Floyd Shivambu — is meeting. He declined to confirm or deny that a decision around the motion has been taken. "Allow us space to finish our meeting, please," he said.

The party tweeted that its motion remains and that its demand that the motion be brought forward stands.

According to well-placed sources in Parliament, the ANC's and EFF's parliamentary leadership met on Tuesday night to discuss the way forward. The EFF has tabled a motion of no confidence to be debated on February 22. The party has requested speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete to move the motion up so that it might be heard as soon as possible. The speaker has not yet responded to the EFF and the party on Wednesday also withdrew its threats to go to court to force the speaker's hand.

Parliamentary officials have in the last few days also apparently been engaged by the ANC's caucus leadership in regards to the procedure in terms of the law and parliamentary rules on how a motion of this nature can be amended.

Sources tell HuffPost the ANC wants to persuade the EFF to withdraw its motion so that a new motion can be tabled in the ANC's name, or to amend the EFF's motion.

Moloto Mothapo, Parliament's spokesperson, did not pick up the phone when called for comment. Questions were sent to him by text. This story will be updated once he responds.