Following a meeting on Monday evening (5 February), the ANC’s national working committee has decided to convene a special national executive committee (NEC) meeting on Wednesday to decide the fate of president Jacob Zuma.
The decision follows Zuma’s reported refusal to voluntarily resign from his post, stating that he is determined to see out the remainder of his term to 2019.
According to BusinessDay, the ANC’s parliamentary caucus will now aim to remove the president through a motion of no confidence brought by the ANC itself.
This was supported by some senior ANC leaders going into the meeting after Zuma left the party with little option.
Parliament had previously confirmed that it would hear a motion of no confidence brought by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) on 22 February, however ANC insiders said the party’s caucus would not support an opposition-led process and would rather file their own motion.
“This is the beginning of the end for Zuma,” said Theo Venter, a political analyst at North-West University’s business school.
“He has used up all his options. It remains in doubt whether he will deliver the state-of-the-nation address.”
While Zuma is due to step down in mid-2019, his nine-year tenure has been marred by a series of scandals and policy missteps.
Critics say if he remains in office, the party could lose the electoral majority it has enjoyed since it took power under Nelson Mandela in the first multiracial elections in 1994.
The divisions Zuma’s leadership has exposed within the ANC were evident outside the party’s headquarters in Johannesburg on Monday, where the president’s supporters and opponents staged rival protests amid a strong police presence.
Since Cyril Ramaphosa became the ANC leader in December, the rand has been the best performer in the world, with investors expecting that Zuma would be replaced early and that the new administration would do a better job of managing the economy.
The rand was weaker against the major currencies in morning trade on Tuesday.
- Dollar/Rand: R12.16 (0.24%)
- Pound/Rand: R16.95 (0.21%)
- Euro/Rand: R15.04 (0.17%)
With reporting from Bloomberg.