How ANC is digging a deeper hole with bungled Zuma recall
There is in fact no certainty for South Africa about the way forward
As if the ANC has not already made a hash of governing South Africa, it is now unable to explain why it has decided to recall President Jacob Zuma from office.
It seems that after a 13-hour meeting of the ANC national executive committee at which the decision was taken, the party still cannot give South Africa an explanation as to why a democratically elected president is again being removed from office.
The ANC’s secretary general, Ace Magashule, in fact said that Zuma has done nothing wrong.
There are, of course, a litany of reasons why Zuma is unworthy of the position and the decision is long overdue. But at a media briefing at the ANC headquarters on Tuesday, Magashule would only say that the ANC prefers that its new leader, Cyril Ramaphosa, be the president of the country and deliver the 2018 State of the Nation Address.
Magashule said the ANC’s officials had informed the NEC on Monday that Zuma had agreed in principle to resign and had proposed time frames extending from three to six months.
This was rejected by the NEC and, when this was communicated to Zuma, he “did not accede to a shorter time frame”, said Magashule.
The NEC statement read by Magashule said: “The decision by the NEC to recall its deployee was taken only after exhaustive discussion on the impact such a recall would have on the country, the ANC and the functioning of government.
“The decision of the NEC provides certainty to the people of South Africa at a time when the economic and social challenges facing the country require urgent and resolute response by all sections of society.”Magashule was unable to say when the ANC realised there was an economic and social crisis and why the president was being recalled now.
And there is in fact no certainty for South Africa about the way forward.
Magashule was unable to say when exactly Zuma would be resigning, if in fact he will, and what the ANC would do if the president defied the NEC decision.
He was unable to say what mechanisms the ANC would employ to give effect to its decision to recall the president – even though parliament is held in abeyance over the EFF’s motion of no confidence and the postponement of the SONA.
It will come as no surprise if Zuma continues to dig in his heels and refuses to abide by the NEC decision that he should no longer be president.
Zuma has told some of his allies that he did not want to resign because he was angered by Ramaphosa.
Zuma is of the view that Ramaphosa reneged on the agreement they reached last week that they would manage his exit in a way that keeps the ANC united.
Zuma apparently told some of his close supporters that, when he met Ramaphosa last Tuesday, they agreed that he would deliver the SONA and then embark on a joint roadshow to provinces to present a united front to the ANC. He committed to resigning in three months.
It is understood Zuma also said that he had not made demands for any type of immunity but that Ramaphosa had presented him with options for the state to cover his legal fees in exchange for his cooperation with the authorities.
Zuma is now angry that Ramaphosa addressed the ANC caucus and briefed other people about their discussions, giving a different version of their agreement.
Zuma’s refusal to resign up to now meant that he is daring the ANC to remove him through a motion of no confidence in parliament.
The president has apparently told his allies that there would be dire consequences for the ANC should they attempt to forcibly remove him.
Based on how the ANC has articulated its decision to recall him to the nation, they would have to take responsibility for the continued chaos and uncertainty in the country.
The ANC might have finally taken the decision to remove Zuma from office but it appears that they simply cannot say why.