The newly elected national executive committee (NEC) of the ANC will be hard fought to take rather decisive action against President Jacob Zuma as pressure mounts from supporters of the newly elected members and of newly elected ANC president, Cyril Ramaphosa.
Despite the call for unity by Ramaphosa during the party’s 106th anniversary, factions within the party continue to run rife especially surrounding the future of the country’s current president heading into 2019.
There's widespread speculation that Ramaphosa and his allies are lobbying ANC members to oust Zuma as head of state. A move which would, by all accounts, place the ANC on better footing for the 2019 elections where pundits say it could, if only just, lose its majority grip on the hearts and minds of the South African people.
Yet, before you pop-out the celebratory champagne, the decision on whether to remove Zuma or not is an incredibly difficult one for those left to clean-up after him.
Political analyst Ralph Mathekga
“The power balance is such that this can’t be achieved outright”, says political analyst Ralph Mathekga.
“It is something that needs to be negotiated within the NEC and I don’t think that there will be any hasty action around this because if there’s a hasty action in removing him and if there’s no attempt to actually negotiate, it might cause an implosion within the ANC”, added Mathekga.
On Monday, Ramaphosa and the party’s top officials visited the gravesites of former leaders as a part of the organisation’s 106th birthday celebration.
It’s believed that the two-day visit to KwaZulu-Natal by Ramaphosa and the top six was in an effort to inform and get the blessing from a province once viewed as Zuma’s stronghold.
At all official events, party members from both sides of the warring factions including Senzo Mchunu and Sihle Zikalala have been attending.
Ramaphosa says unity is not an option but an obligation.
“From the president of the ANC, from John Langalibalele Dube, his spirit is saying unity must happen.”
It’s understood that Zuma has been given until the end of Tuesday to step down before the national executive committee’s first meeting in East London on Wednesday.