South Africa remains on edge over the future of President Jacob Zuma and the African National Congress (ANC), leading to speculation and rumors including word of a Zuma resignation as early as Saturday.
Some reports that emerged from Thursday’s closed-door ANC Parliamentary Caucus meeting were quickly refuted by the party.
“The ANC does not usually comment on caucus discussions because they are confidential internal matters of the ANC,” the party said in a statement. “We want to distance ourselves from reports that ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa reportedly told caucus that President Zuma will resign on Saturday, and that he will not be granted immunity.”
These reports are false, the statement said, and belie a “constructive engagement” between Zuma and President of the ANC Cyril Ramaphosa. The Democratic Alliance opposition party said Thursday that it would stonewall any attempt to extend immunity from prosecution to the president.
Zuma has been at the center of South African corruption investigations that link him to the wealthy Gupta families, their business dealings, and South African state entities including the country’s Eskom utility provider. The president announced earlier this month that, after lengthy delays and legal maneuvers, he was appointing a commission of inquiry into the corruption allegations raised in the country’s 2016 State of Capture report.
The South African parliament has prepared draft proposals for impeachment procedures as required by a recent court ruling, but a no-confidence vote set for as early as next week would come before any potential impeachment proceedings.
For his part, Ramaphosa announced he had pulled out of all party commitments he was expected to attend on Friday. He confirmed earlier this week that he is in “direct discussions on the transition” with Zuma and acknowledged that the South African people want closure after what has been a challenging time for the nation.
Image: Presidency of South Africa