The ANC’s National Executive Committee meeting on Friday night agreed that former party president Jacob Zuma should be removed from office – but his removal should be managed by the newly-elected ANC officials.
In effect, this means that Zuma’s removal would be inevitable. However, the timing is yet to be decided.
Zuma’s position in the national government had been under the spotlight since December, which brought an end to his two five-year terms as leader of the ANC.
Two sources in the NEC meeting told TimesLIVE that there was agreement that Zuma should not be in office when the party starts its campaigning for the 2019 general elections as this may have a negative impact on the party.
According to an insider, the NEC meeting initially heard calls for Zuma to be removed straight after the NEC meeting concluded. However, support later grew for his removal to handled in a managed way by party officials.
Zuma’s removal from office was brought up on the second day of the two-day NEC meeting – currently taking place in Irene, Pretoria – and quickly found support after deputy minister of agriculture, Bheki Cele, firmly argued why it was necessary.
A source said that the discussion about Zuma’s removal from office came after a debate earlier in the day about who should be on the national working committee.
The ANC’s NEC is split among those who once fiercely opposed Zuma and those seen to have once defended him.
One source said that some Zuma sympathisers argued that Zuma should be convinced to leave office amicably and that he exits office gracefully. – TimesLIVE