In a potentially critical move, President Jacob Zuma has summoned all of his cabinet ministers to a meeting of which the agenda is completely unknown. This one day before the expected NEC meeting which is supposed to discuss the future of the president’s term before the State of the Nation Address.
Hopefuls have taken the gesture as a sign that the president will likely resign before SONA and, therefore, has taken to notify his ministers and in a way settling his affairs.
However, some pundits expect the meeting will reflect the same purpose of those conducted before the various no-confidence sessions tabled against him in parliament, in which the ANC ministers received orders from above to show a united front before the opposition, securing the president’s seat above all else.
This is most likely the case given that the EFF has stated it will re-direct the SONA to push for another motion of no-confidence against the president before all other priorities.
The last few days have inspired more questions, rather than answers, as to the fate of the president as the ANC’s own fractured opinions have permeated the public sphere placing fears of civil-war and completed presidential terms in the mind of the average citizen.
President Zuma has shown no interest in stepping down and his supporters have defended him almost with tooth-and-nail.
Clashes outside Luthuli House yesterday, between ANC members and the Black Land First movement (BLF) spiralled out of control for this very reason and resulted in gross and violent misconduct on both sides.
Many believe the approach so far from the presidency has been very characteristic of his entire tenure thus far. The president has revealed precious little of his intentions despite the maelstrom of speculation surrounding his position.
With 18 months before the national elections take place, it could well be the case that president Zuma will make the most of his final presidential year.