Zuma supporters within the ANC have put forward a proposal to extend the current term for party president so that it aligns with the term of national president, the Sunday Times reports.
While president Zuma said this week that he has no desire to run for a third term, his supporters from the Youth League and Mpumalanga confirmed to the paper that the plan was back on the table.
The ANC’s policy that the president of the party be president of the country are currently out of sync, due to the fact that the party elects a new president two years before the country goes to the polls to vote.
This needs to change, the Youth League told the Sunday Times, confirming that it has put the matter ‘on the table’. The proposal is due to be discussed at an extended NEC meeting in February.
Should the proposal win, it would mean that Zuma’s current term as party leader would only end in 2019, after the National Elections.
This wouldn’t technically be a third term, just an extension of the president’s second term, but it has nevertheless upset Zuma opponents within the party, the paper said.
Speaking on various radio stations this past week, Zuma said that it made no sense for him to run for a third term as ANC president (something which is not prohibited by the ANC’s policies), as it would create two centres of power within the party.
He spent a bulk of his time on air defending AU chair, and his ex-wife Nkosaza Dlamini-Zuma’s competency as a potential leader, while saying that the ANC was ready for a female leader.
You can read the full report in the Sunday Times for 15 January 2017