It was apparently agreed, as a compromise between bitterly divided groups to refer the issue of Zuma’s continued leadership to a committee of 10 members. The move to remove Zuma from office was seemingly deferred on procedural grounds.
A source told Independent Media: “It was not decided how the committee would be formed. There was also no finalisation of its composition.”
The motion against Zuma, who will face MPs on Wednesday for the presidency’s budget, was tabled by the ANC’s policy guru, Joel Netshitenzhe, on Saturday.
The move was supported by Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi and his deputy Joe Phaahla, axed tourism minister Derek Hanekom and NEC member Sue van der Merwe, according to sources.
At an ANC NEC meeting in December Hanekom, since dismissed by Zuma from Cabinet, proposed a motion of no confidence in him, but it was squashed.
At the end Zuma reportedly lashed out at his detractors whom he accused of pursuing a foreign agenda to oust him.
Political analyst Protas Madlala said the possible removal of Zuma would have far-reaching implications as it would also see a mass exodus of his backers in Parliament.
“What surprises me is why the president is being asked to step down, whereas Thabo Mbeki was told in no uncertain terms to do so,” said Madlala.
He said the ANC needs to take a similar hard line against Zuma.
Sunday’s meeting took place against the backdrop of the most damning newspaper reports yet against Zuma’s controversial friends, the Guptas, revealing the business family’s influence on the state allegedly through Zuma and his son Duduzane.
Meanwhile, Zuma has to give reasons on Monday in the Pretoria High Court for his midnight Cabinet reshuffle, one of the reasons his future at the Union Buildings hangs in the balance.
African News Agency