Plans are underway to have the president removed from office following the municipal elections in August, according to a report in the Sunday Times.
Citing a senior leader at Luthuli House, the paper said that the plan includes easing off on public calls for Zuma to resign until after the elections, amid concerns that votes may be lost in areas where the president remains popular.
The ANC launched its election manifesto in Port Elizabeth this weekend where it was reported that only 30,000 of 110,000 expected voters turned up to listen to Zuma at the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium.
The 2016 Local Government Elections will be held on 3 August.
Senior ANC leaders, including some based at Luthuli House, are among the authors of the “Zuma exit plan”, the Sunday Times said.
A number of ANC branches have called on the president to step down following a Constitutional Court ruling that Zuma had violated the constitution by disregarding a Public Protector report into the undue benefit he and his family gained through upgrades to his Nkandla homestead.
Some Gauteng ANC provincial executive committee members proposed that Zuma should step down as president of the country, but stay on as ruling party leader.
However, several regions in the Eastern Cape have called for Zuma’s head, calling him a liability.
The senior officials, whose names are known to the Sunday Times, have secretly been selling the plan to branches, regions and provinces opposed to Zuma’s continued leadership, the paper reported.
These cells would be encouraged soon after the elections to intensify their calls for Zuma to step down. They would also petition the office of ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe to convene an early elective congress.
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.
“We are saying to comrades, let us focus on elections now. We have a big task at hand. Let us finish that first,” a senior leader told the Sunday Times.
“We need to buy time and act only after the elections. We are giving [Zuma] a long rope to hang himself,” he said.
You can read the full story in the Sunday Times edition of 17 April 2016.
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