The ANC parliamentary caucus has agreed to table a motion of no confidence in the National Assembly against Jacob Zuma amid a standoff between the president and his party.
ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile told journalists on Wednesday that he had informed the caucus of the ANC national executive committee’s decision to recall Zuma‚ after which the meeting had agreed to vote for Zuma’s removal. Mashatile said ANC leader Cyril Ramaphosa would then be voted in as state president.
Mashatile said Zuma had been given until Wednesday to submit his resignation letter.
“We can no longer wait beyond today. President Zuma might respond later but we can’t keep South Africans waiting‚” said Mashatile.
ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu said the governing party would hold talks with the EFF‚ which has proposed a motion of no confidence against Zuma. Mthembu said the ANC had the option of amending the EFF motion and then voting in favour of booting Zuma out of office.
The motion is expected to be scheduled for Thursday afternoon.
ANC sources said only deputy minister of communications Tandi Mahambehlala tried to start a debate on the matter‚ but she was shot down by the majority of MPs in the caucus meeting.
The caucus met amid heightened political tensions within the governing party‚ which has failed to convince Zuma to leave office voluntarily.
The caucus meeting coincided with the arrest of three people linked to the Hawks’ state capture investigation. The elite squad earlier on Wednesday pounced on properties belonging to the Guptas‚ who have been fingered along with Zuma in allegations of state capture.
The caucus was initially meant to meet at 10am but that was pushed to 11am after expectations that Zuma would address the nation at the former time. However‚ the presidency later issued a statement suggesting that Zuma was not yet ready make a public announcement. There had been growing speculation that Zuma might step down after an ANC ultimatum.
The ANC earlier this week decided to recall Zuma but sources said he was defiant. The ANC said on Tuesday that Zuma had agreed in principle to step down but had requested three to six months more in office.
by Thabo Mokone -TimesLIVE