ANC Insists On The Removal Of Zuma As South Africa President
South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) has formally asked President Jacob Zuma to resign, a senior party official has confirmed.
The decision by the ruling party’s national executive came in the early hours of the morning, after 13 hours of tense deliberations and one face-to-face meeting between Mr. Zuma and his presumed successor, deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa.
Mr Zuma, 75, agreed to step down, but only in the next three to six months, the official added.
Mr Zuma, who has been in power since 2009, has been dogged by corruption allegations
In spite of the damning decision to order Mr. Zuma’s “recall” – ANC termfor ‘remove from office’ – domestic media have speculated that the 75-year-old might yet defy the party’s wishes, forcing it into the indignity of having to unseat him in parliament.
Shortly before midnight, the SABC state broadcaster said Mr. Zuma had been told in person by Mr. Ramaphosa that he had 48 hours to resign.
A senior party source later told Reuters Mr. Zuma had made clear that he was going nowhere.
“Ramaphosa went to speak with him,” the source said, adding that when Ramaphosa returned to the ANC meeting in a Pretoria hotel, the discussions were tense and difficult”.
“We decided to recall Zuma. He hasn’t been told yet,” the source said.
Mr Zuma’s presidency has been overshadowed by allegations of corruption which he has always vehemently denied.
In 2016, South Africa’s highest court ruled that Mr Zuma had violated the constitution when he failed to repay government money spent on his private home.
Last year the Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that he must face 18 counts of corruption, fraud, racketeering and money-laundering relating to a 1999 arms deal.
More recently, Mr Zuma’s links to the wealthy India-born Gupta family, who are alleged to have influenced the government, have caused his popularity to plummet.
Both Mr Zuma and the Guptas deny the allegations.