The party in power in South Africa, the African National Congress (ANC), was gathered Monday in Pretoria to, according to its leader Cyril Ramaphosa, “finalize” finally the issue of the early departure of President Jacob Zuma, firmly attached to his position.
The two men began direct negotiations last week to try to get out of the crisis but, to date, they seemed to have given birth to no progress.
The 107 members of the highest decision-making body of the ANC, the National Executive Council (NEC), were scheduled to meet in camera Monday in a hotel in Pretoria to officially take stock of the discussions.
The ballet of ANC leaders’ cars started in the early afternoon in front of the school, but no party spokesman immediately confirmed the start of the meeting.
This body has the power to “recall” Mr. Zuma, as it did in 2008 for President Thabo Mbeki.
But the current head of state may refuse to comply. In this case, the ANC could table a motion of no confidence in Parliament that would compel it to leave.
“We know you want to turn the page,” Ramaphosa conceded Sunday in a speech on 100 years since the birth of Nelson Mandela, the father of the “rainbow” nation. sky”.
“It’s the wish of our people to finalize all this and that is precisely what the NEC will do,” he promised.
Cyril Ramaphosa, who would succeed Jacob Zuma in case of resignation of the president, however faces two major obstacles: the obstinacy of the head of state, who clings to power, and divisions of the ANC.
On February 4, Jacob Zuma banned him from resigning, despite the urging of his party’s leadership.
– Last square –
In ongoing negotiations, he would seek immunity for the many corruption cases in which he is involved, as well as securing court costs, local media reported.
On Sunday, Cyril Ramaphosa, however, ruled out any claim for the president, recalling that “those who are corrupt and have stolen money from the poor will be judged”.
The ANC boss, however, acknowledged that his party was emerging from a period of “disunity and discord”.
Even if the end of his reign seemed close, Jacob Zuma remains supported by a square of faithful.
“They have reached the peak of their political career, some are targeted by complaints (…), they are driven by their only instinct for survival,” summarized political analyst Somadoda Fikeni on the news channel eNCA.
The authority of President Zuma has begun to falter since the election in December of Cyril Ramaphosa who succeeded him at the head of the ANC, the party in power in South Africa since the advent of democracy in 1994.
But the current vice president has still failed to dismiss the current president, a condition in his eyes unavoidable to restore the coat of arms of the party before the general elections of 2019.
The current deadlock has begun to tarnish the reputation of Cyril Ramaphosa, whose authority is already questioned.
“Zuma still holds the power,” Monday’s opposition leader Mmusi Maimane lashed out. “The fact that he (Ramaphosa) that he still wants to negotiate an amnesty with Zuma shows that there is an appetite for corruption within the ANC,” said Maimane in an interview with AFP.
Grumbling up the ranks of the opposition, which has tabled a side of a motion of no confidence on the agenda of February 22, the ninth since the accession to power of Jacob Zuma in 2009.
“The pressure is such that the leadership of the ANC must make a decision,” said analyst Somadoda Fikeni. “If she does not, she will give the initiative to her allies, some factions of the ANC, the opposition and civil society, who will be credited with pushing the president to the exit.”