The ANC has cancelled its post election victory jol, which many believe could instead now turn into a farewell party for President Jacob Zuma.
Independent Media has learnt that party bigwigs are gearing up for a special meeting this weekend amid speculation that Zuma’s days are numbered in the ruling party following the ANC’s poor performances at the polls.
The final results released by the IEC on Saturday night confirmed the ANC had lost Nelson Mandela Bay and Tshwane (Port Elizabeth and Pretoria) to the DA, and needs a coalition to govern Joburg, Ekurhuleni and Rustenburg, show how the party’s support has dwindled under Zuma’s leadership.
The DA is now set to govern three out of the country’s eight major metropoles, including Cape Town, which they won outright with 66 percent.
Nationally, the ANC garnered 54 percent of the votes, or 5163 proportional representative seats, down from 61.95 percent in 2011.
The DA has 27 percent and 1776 seats, while the EFF showed growth with 8.2 percent and 761 PR seats.
ANC officials say there was no planned celebration because they had been too busy campaigning.
ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa says: “As a result, the holding of a post-election function has not been prioritised.”
Instead, the ANC’s National Executive Committee (NEC) will meet behind closed doors this weekend.
This comes amid growing concerns that Zuma’s public scandals might cost the ANC the national elections in three years’ time.
The party’s tripartite alliance partner, Cosatu, has also slammed the ANC for the disappointing results, saying it was time to decisively deal with factionalism within the party.
Independent Media understands there may be calls from within the NEC for an early or special conference where an “elegant exit” for Zuma should be finalised.
At least four NEC members said the party’s poor performance had encouraged those within the mainly pro-Zuma NEC to challenge Zuma and his supporters about how he’s costing the party.
“The warning signs have been there about how we were on the verge of losing the metros, which is precisely because our supporters are unhappy with his leadership. The opposition beat us because our supporters didn’t come out to vote for us, we cannot afford to risk that with the 2019 elections,” said one NEC member.
ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe denied speculation that heads may fall, calling it “rumours”.