Pressure is mounting on the African National Congress (ANC)’s national executive committee (NEC) to take decisive action against President Jacob Zuma but this may require negotiations in order to reach consensus.
As the ruling party celebrates its 106 anniversary, the ANC’s new president Cyril Ramaphosa has called for unity as factions within the party become increasingly divided over Zuma’s future.
There’s widespread speculation that Ramaphosa and his allies are lobbying ANC members to oust Zuma as head of state.
The NEC is due to meet this week ahead of the party’s official anniversary celebrations in East London this weekend.
Political analyst Ralph Mathekga says that there are problems within the party that may make a decision on Zuma difficult.
“The power balance is such that this can’t be achieved outright. It is something that needs to be negotiated within the NEC and I don’t think that there will be any hasty action around this because if there’s a hasty action in removing him and if there’s no attempt to actually negotiate, it might cause an implosion within the ANC.”
The uMkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans’ Association (MKMVA) has called for decisive action.
However, Mathekga says that it is not a cut and dry situation due to the power balance within the party.
“Even placing the question of President Jacob Zuma on the NEC agenda will take negotiations and I think that this is where the party is and I think people may have resigned themselves to the fact that the power balance in the ANC, coming out of Nasrec, is not as clear cut as people thought it is.”
On Monday, Ramaphosa and the party’s top officials visited the gravesites of former leaders as a part of the organisation’s 106th birthday celebration.
It’s believed that the two-day visit to KwaZulu-Natal by Ramaphosa and the top six was in an effort to inform and get the blessing from a province once viewed as Zuma’s stronghold.
At all official events, party members from both sides of the warring factions including Senzo Mchunu and Sihle Zikalala have been attending.
Ramaphosa says unity is not an option but an obligation.
“From the president of the ANC, from John Langalibalele Dube, his spirit is saying unity must happen.”
It’s understood that Zuma has been given until the end of Tuesday to step down before the national executive committee’s first meeting in East London on Wednesday.