The signs are unmistakably positive: Zuma’s ill-perceived reign and torture of South Africa seem to come to an end as he faces a key battle for his political survival this weekend when senior members of his ruling party say they’ll push for its decision-making National Executive Committee to order him to step down. Zuma goes into the meeting of the committee facing an unprecedented level of opposition from within the African National Congress and its labour and communist supporters following a series of scandals he’s faced since he took office in 2009.
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa echoed the South African Council of Churches on Sunday by saying the nation is at risk of becoming a “mafia state”.
While ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa denied that the option of Zuma’s ouster will feature at the three-day executive committee meeting that starts on Friday, four members of the panel said they would force it onto the agenda. They asked not to be named because they aren’t authorised to speak on the matter.
“This will be a critical meeting for the NEC,” said Ongama Mtimka, a political science lecturer at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth, who says there is probably an even chance of him being removed. “We have the balance of power shifting within the ANC. More and more people have begun to speak out.”
h3. ANC “Leadership”
Even though Zuma withstood a bid to remove him at an NEC meeting in November, criticism of him is rising as he prepares to relinquish the ANC leadership in December. His March 31 decision to fire the respected Pravin Gordhan as finance minister and make 19 other changes to his executive swelled the ranks of his opponents and prompted S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings to downgrade the nation’s sovereign credit rating to junk.
While only Parliament can legally force the president from office, the NEC could instruct Zuma to resign, as it did Thabo Mbeki in 2008, or tell its MPs who occupy 62% of the seats in the national legislature, to remove him. Zuma has said he’ll quit if the party orders him to.
The rand gained the most among major currencies on Tuesday and Wednesday not only I light of the dropping inflation rate but especially after Bloomberg reported the ANC leadership may discuss Zuma’s ouster.
h3. Are you ready, Cyril?
“Get ready, Mr. Ramaphosa, the time to rescue this ailing economy is near and will need all your strength and perseverance to take over the reign in one of the darkest chapters of the young South African history. Put your money where your mouth is and engage in enterprise development and youth support, as you stated in your Africa Day Address in Durban this week. Split ESKOM into responsible and profitable units, sell SAA and close the Postal Services as promised last year! You will have the benefit of the doubt, that you are not just another puppet, but that your skills and experience will end the nepotism and rape of state coffers for the benefit of a healthy economy and a credible leadership.”