President Jacob Zuma has reportedly set a number of conditions which will need to be fulfilled before he steps down as South Africa’s president.
Several ANC insiders familiar with negotiations on Zuma’s future told the Mail and Guardian that one of the key requirements would be that ANC MP Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma takes over as the country’s interim president after he steps down.
President Zuma and his supporters have also reportedly demanded that some of his key cabinet appointments, such as energy minister David Mahlobo and state security minister Bongani Bongo be retained in Ramaphosa’s new cabinet.
A number of ANC national executive committee members (NEC) who spoke to the Mail and Guardian, confirmed the behind-the-scenes negotiations with Zuma, and said they were aware of some of his conditions – but said that Zuma was asking too much of Ramaphosa.
Notably the condition that Dlamini-Zuma serve as interim president has been rejected by Ramaphosa, who has instead nominated Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu or National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete for the role.
The NEC members said that it would also be difficult for Ramaphosa to retain members of cabinet such as Mahlobo, who has insisted on implementing a nuclear programme which is not affordable to the country.
Because neither Ramaphosa or Zuma appears willing to concede the talks are said to have reached something of a stalemate as the ANC prepares to begin the new year in earnest.
“At the moment, it’s a stalemate (on the conditions under which Zuma would agree to resign). So we will see where it ends up after the national working committee and heads of subcommittees are selected at the next NEC (meeting),” an NEC member said.