ANC in scramble over Zuma

President Jacob Zuma. Picture:Supplied

WHILE pressure is mounting on President Jacob Zuma to step down as head of state, Cyril Ramaphosa yesterday cancelled his participation in a visit by the ANC’s top brass to Cape Town this weekend.

The ANC said “Ramaphosa will no longer participate in the build-up programmes on Friday and on Saturday due to other pressing commitments. “The ANC president will however address the #Mandela100 Rally on Sunday February 11, 2018”. Yesterday as the ANC was rocked by the leaking of a recording in which ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile spoke to investors about President Zuma’s imminent departure. Ramaphosa addressed the first ANC caucus meeting of this year at Parliament.

On the same day, two opposition parties demanded that a no-confidence debate in President Zuma be held on Tuesday. Secretary-general Ace Magashule spoke to the media after the caucus meeting. Asked about President Zuma’s political future, Magashule said that Ramaphosa had released a statement on Wednesday “to say that there is constructive and fruitful discussions between President Zuma and ANC president Ramaphosa.

“In due course we will know how that discussions are going”. Asked about the cancellation of Ramaphosa’s involvement in today’s Cape Town programme, Magashule said he would check with head office. Magashule claimed the ANC leaders were at the caucus meeting to say ‘hello how are you? Welcome, let’s unite and bring confidence to society in general as well as the ANC’”.

He and Ramaphosa were also at the caucus to greet comrades and say to them that it was the year to work hard and ensure that the resolutions of the 54th national conference are implemented, Magashule said. Members of the ANC caucus would also be activated by the message that this was the year of unity, renewal and jobs, he said.

Asked how the caucus would vote for a new president, ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu said “caucus doesn’t take a decision on who becomes president of the republic. Caucus gets told by the governing party.” He declined to say what was discussed behind closed doors, adding that caucus matters were internal matters. Meanwhile, the DA has added its voice to that of the EFF in demanding that a no-confidence debate in President Zuma be brought forward to Tuesday.