The African National Congress (ANC) has finally stood up to President Jacob Zuma and fired him.
The party’s secretary-general Ace Magashule announced yesterday at the ANC’s headquarters at Luthuli House: “The national executive committee decided to recall the president in accordance with rule 12.2 of the ANC, which allows the ANC to recall its deployees.”
He said there was no deadline to gooi given to Zuma, who had asked the party to give him three months’ notice before he could vacate the Union Buildings.
Magashule said the ball was now in Zuma’s court.
“I don’t know what will happen, but let’s leave it to President Jacob Zuma,” he said.
“We went with DSG (deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte) today to meet with the president and we communicated the decision of the national executive committee. Obviously we are giving him time and space to respond.
He added: “We decided as an organisation that we want Ramaphosa to become the president,” indicating that Ramaphosa will be expected deliver the State of the Nation Address (SONA).
The announcement comes after a marathon special ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting in Irene outside Pretoria that lasted into the early hours of yesterday morning.
This followed two weeks of negotiations between Zuma and Ramaphosa, during which the SONA was postponed.
Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane, however, said the recall means nothing, and that the only way to remove Zuma was through a motion of no confidence.
“This recall is an internal ANC resolution, and nothing more. It has no effect on Jacob Zuma’s current status as President of the Republic, and can be simply ignored by Zuma,” he said.
“Unless he [Zuma] tenders his resignation, this recall is not worth the paper it is printed on.
“The fact is, Jacob Zuma remains president, and remains in power. And as long as this is the case, our country suffers.”
A motion of no confidence, tabled by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), has already been scheduled to take place on 22 February in Parliament.
Maimane and other opposition leaders want the motion moved forward to this week, and in addition want early elections.