President Jacob Zuma got a moerse shock this weekend when a member of his own cabinet reportedly filed a motion for him to step down.
Zuma was ambushed at a two-day meeting of the ANC’s National Executive Committee on Saturday, when Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom tabled a motion for the prez to gooi.
The debate around Zuma’s credibility began at about lunchtime and ended late the night.
On Sunday, members of the NEC were expected to vote on whether or not to pass the motion for Zuma to step down as leader of the ruling party.
However Luthuli House was on lockdown with no word on whether the motion would be debated or passed over.
Hanekom’s bold move, reportedly backed by several other ANC leaders, comes after it emerged there have been numerous calls from within the party for Zuma to step down following several damaging scandals.
“The NEC is discussing a proposal to recall President Jacob Zuma – a very critical meeting whatever the outcome is. What is clear is that President Zuma’s control over the party is beginning to slip,” political analyst Karima Brown told eNCA.
She said party leaders felt scandals implicating Zuma – Nkandla; state capture; and the Guptas – have become “too expensive for the ANC.”
Before last week, Zuma’s biggest critics were party veterans, who met with him last Monday and Friday to discuss their concerns about the direction the ruling party had taken under Zuma.
Zuma’s critics scored a victory on Friday when the national working committee agreed to hold a consultative conference “in theory” as part of the policy conference to take place mid-year.
Veterans blamed Zuma for the decline of the ANC’s support in urban areas, where major metros were lost to the Democratic Alliance in the August municipal elections.
Meanwhile, the ANC has slammed Cosatu for publicly endorsing Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa as the next ANC leader.
Cosatu is the first alliance partner to throw its weight behind Ramaphosa, who is expected to face off against Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in what is expected to be a fierce battle.
Zuma will meet the party’s integrity commission next week, but not, says the ANC, to respond to allegations of ‘State of Capture’, rather to discuss the state of the ANC and the challenges it faces.