A reported call to offer Jacob Zuma an amnesty deal to get him out of the presidency has been dismissed by the ANC as fiction.
The Daily Maverick reported this weekend that unnamed sources within the ANC have let slip that Zuma was offered a R2 billion amnesty deal to pack his bags and leave the presidency.
As part of the alleged deal – reportedly offered by supporters of deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa – Zuma would get paid, and would have his record wiped so that he can retire in peace, without fear of future prosecution.
This includes relief from the almost 800 charges of fraud and corruption that still linger against him.
According to the Daily Maverick’s sources, however, the president rejected the deal.
Responding to the article, ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said that no such offer has ever been made, and that the article in question was completely false.
This is not the first time that talk of an amnesty deal for Zuma has been brought up.
In an interview with CNBC Africa in April – just after Zuma caused havok in the economy by firing former finance minister Pravin Gordhan – outspoken Sygnia CEO, Magda Wierzycka, said that she was all for paying Zuma to leave.
Wierzycka said that she would “offer him as much money as he wishes to have”, as she held the view that the destruction Zuma could cause to South Africa far outweighed any amount it would take to pay him off.
“I would offer him every immunity under the sun – because I think the damage that can be done to this country and this economy is so much greater than any amount he could possibly want to live out the rest of his years.”
However, response to the idea of paying Zuma to leave has not been one of support, with many feeling that the president should be held accountable for his actions, and face the full might of the law.
Analysts have also noted that, while the president appears to be orchestrating “state capture”, he is by far not the only player – and were he to take the deal, the question remains on how to deal with the other players involved.
According to an anonymous expert in law, speaking to the Daily Maverick, such an amnesty deal could be done, with the powers of the president to grant a pardon. Should Zuma step down as part of such a deal, his replacement would have the privilege to pardon whomever they choose – even if there is no conviction in place.
The president’s actions – in firing finance ministers and his government’s moves to “radically transform” the economy – have directly and indirectly wiped hundreds of billions of rands from the economy.
Adrian Saville, chief strategist at financial services firm Citadel and CIO at Cannon Asset Managers, referred to the president as a “R960bn wrecking ball” in a post on social media on the weekend, saying that “Zuma has cost SA 3% growth a year” over the past eight years, citing ‘crude maths’.