Wed, Feb 14, 2018 - Page 1 News List

ANC ‘recalls’ Zuma from presidency, but no deadline set

IN HIS TIME:The South African party said that Jacob Zuma had agreed ‘in principle’ to resign and would announce his decision today


South African President Jacob Zuma reacts during a question-and-answer session in Parliament in Cape Town, South Africa, on June 22 last year.

Photo: EPA

The African National Congress (ANC) party yesterday confirmed that it had decided to “recall” scandal-tainted South African President Jacob Zuma from office, but said there was no deadline for him to resign, pitching the nation into further uncertainty.

ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule told reporters that Zuma had “agreed in principle to resign and had proposed time frames extending from three to six months.”

However, Magashule said there was no date for Zuma to stand down, adding that there would be “continuing interaction” between party officials and Zuma.

“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,” he said.

The ANC can “recall” the head of state, but the process is a party-level instruction and he is under no constitutional obligation to obey.

It said Zuma would respond to the recall decision today.

The power struggle over Zuma’s departure has put the president at loggerheads with Cyril Ramaphosa, his expected successor, who is the party’s new head.

The ANC’s leadership committee met for 13 hours at a hotel outside Pretoria and decided early yesterday to “recall” Zuma from his post.

A committee member confirmed that the president had asked for three more months in office and described the request as “hogwash.”

“We just felt he meant three months of looting,” the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The political deadlock has plunged South Africa into confusion over who is running the country, with a series of public events canceled last week including the annual state of the nation address to parliament.

“We know you want this matter to be finalized,” Ramaphosa, 65, told a party rally in Cape Town on Sunday.

“We know you want closure... Because our people want this matter to be finalized, the NEC will be doing precisely that,” he said.

South African opposition parties have called for early elections as the ANC’s leadership battle grinds on.

An opposition request for a no-confidence vote against Zuma, 75, this week was still being considered by the parliamentary speaker.

Zuma’s presidency has been marred by corruption scandals, slow economic growth and record unemployment that have fueled public anger.

He was scheduled to stand down next year after serving the maximum two terms after coming to power in 2009.

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