Reports from South Africa say that President Jacob Zuma may at last be forced out by his own African National Congress party, whose National Executive Committee (NEC) met in Tshwane over the weekend. The NEC plans a 3 p.m. media briefing Monday in Johannesburg to discuss results of the meeting.
South African media outlets, including SABC and the Sunday Times, report that the NEC reached consensus on the need for Zuma’s departure before next year’s elections, an issue that – while not on the official agenda – was raised by new NEC member David Masondo.
Even Zuma’s allies on the ANC committee aren’t defending against his removal, the Times reported.
The ANC released a statement on Saturday, part way through the meetings, detailing an “extensive discussion on the current political and economic environment” that followed a presentation by Cyril Ramaphosa, the new ANC President and Zuma’s current deputy president.
“Officials, led by President Ramaphosa, will continue their engagement with President Jacob Zuma to ensure effective coordination between the ANC and government,” the statement said. Ramaphosa is expected to replace Zuma if the ANC, which has been split over its support for Zuma, forces his resignation; he has appealed to the NEC leaders to avoid humiliating Zuma in the process, the Times said.
Zuma is 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.
Image: Presidency of RSA