Sporadic clashes ensued today outside the ANC headquarters at Luthuli House, when members of the Black Land First (BLF) movement joined the pro and anti-Zuma crowds already there to voice that the president not be forced to step down.
Arriving earlier this morning, crowds both supporting and criticising Zuma showed up outside the Johannesburg headquarters to protest ahead of party talks which are seemingly deciding the fate of the president for him.
Pro-Zuma protesters, mainly clad in uMkhonto weSizwe uniform, have warned that any action against the president will be met with hostility, while members of the #ZumaMustGo movement have reiterated that they will not leave while the President refuses to stepdown.
Amid the tension and heightened police presence, even for downtown Johannesburg, the BLF movement has added its own declarations of protest to the mix and allegedly have instigated many of the minor clashes which police are currently dealing with.
One BLF member has been detained and removed from the premises, while journalists on the ground have stated the powder-keg could blow at any moment.
The president was expected to resign before the SONA on February 8th according to inside party voices, however, the NEC has been publicly split on how to approach this. Many within the ANC’s top 6 have vowed that the president will see through his last term in power, while others have stated that in order to represent the change the party will undertake in future, the president should amicably relinquish power to the next elected official, being current deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa.
The fractures within the ANC have pushed many to be on the front-step of battle, with some citing civil-war as a potential outcome of the constant pressure being placed on president Zuma.
For the moment the president has made it abundantly clear he has no intention of stepping down before the elections in 2019.