The ANC will present a plan to its National Executive Committee (NEC) in two weeks with recommendations on how president Jacob Zuma can bow out of government, according to a report by the Mail & Guardian.
The paper’s lead story on Friday, citing officials within the NEC, says that the president is willing to step down before his term ends in 2019, so that the ANC can save face.
The report echoes an earlier report by the Sunday Times, which said that the ANC top brass were working on a plans to have the president removed from office following the municipal elections in August 2016.
Senior ANC leaders, including some based at Luthuli House, are reportedly among the authors of the plan, which has been secretly passed on to branches, regions and provinces opposed to Zuma’s continued leadership, the Sunday Times reported.
These cells would be encouraged soon after the elections to intensify their calls for Zuma to step down.
According to the ANC constitution, at least five provinces must request a special conference before the party’s national executive committee can convene one.
Only an elective conference can elect a new ANC president.
Zuma has faced an onslaught of scandals during his presidency, from hundreds of corrupt charges before he took up the position in 2009 – which might be reinstated after they were dropped “irrationally” – to the latest Constitutional Court ruling against him.
In the wake of each scandal, the ANC has been left red-faced, explaining away the president’s actions. According to the Mail & Guardian reports, party members have hit their limit.
“It can’t be that the organization (ANC) must disintegrate because of one man,” an unnamed source said.
ANC secretary general, Gwede Mantashe, as well as other Zuma supporters, have repeatedly rubbished any reports or claims that such an ‘exit plan’ exists – insisting that the president isn’t going anywhere, and will serve his full term.