South Africa’s governing African National Congress (ANC) has formally asked President Jacob Zuma to resign for the sake of the country.
Making the announcement at Luthuli House on Tuesday, ANC secretary general Ace Magashule says the party’s national executive committee (NEC) noted that South Africa was going through a period of uncertainty and anxiety as a result of the unresolved matter of transition.
Pressure on Zuma, who has been wracked by corruption allegations, has mounted over the past few months. He has so far resisted increasing pressure to quit since December, when Cyril Ramaphosa replaced him as leader of the ANC.
He is expected to respond to the request on Wednesday, an official said. President Jacob Zuma had already told them he was willing to stand down in the next three to six months, the official added.
A statement read by the Secretary-General of the ANC, Ace Magashule, on the party’s National Executive Committee meeting, which met until the early hours of Tuesday February 13:
The meeting was called to reflect on the current situation as it pertains to President Jacob Zuma.
The NEC received a report from the Officials on their engagement with President Zuma. These engagements had been informed by the commitment to pursue firstly the interest of the country and the ANC and the determination to handle the matter with utmost dignity.
The NEC noted the report of the Officials that the President had agreed in principle to resign and had proposed time frames extending from three to six months.
While appreciating President Zuma’s proposal, the NEC noted that South Africa is going through a period of uncertainty and anxiety as a result of the unresolved matter of transition.
Further that this uncertainty and anxiety will erode the renewed hope and confidence among South Africans since the 54th National Conference of the ANC.
The National Executive Committee firmly believes that this situation requires decisive leadership in order to steer our country towards greater levels of unity, renewal and inclusive economic growth.
We are determined to restore the integrity of the public institutions, create political stability and urgent economic recovery.
Some of the matters we are contending with are the opportunistic manoeuvers by the opposition in parliament including motions of no confidence in the President, calls for dissolution for parliament and other desperate acts.
The ANC’s approach to this matter has, at all times, been informed by the interests of the South African people.
Sensitive of the need to handle this matter with dignity, the NEC once again sent a delegation to brief the President of the Republic about the need to shorten the timeframes so that this matter is speedily resolved.
The NEC received feedback from the delegation that the President of the Republic did not accede to a shorter time frame.
The NEC therefore decided as follows: To recall its deployee, Comrade Jacob Zuma, in accordance with Rule 220.127.116.11 of the ANC Constitution, which accords the NEC the authority to “recall any public representative”.
The NEC further decided that there should be continuing interaction between the officials of the ANC and the President of the Republic.
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