The early departure of Jacob Zuma from the presidency seems inexorable. The South African president who had pushed his predecessor to the exit could give way under pressure from his party because of the many cases that plague his mandate.
The South African news website Times Live, quoted by Reuters, revealed this February 6 that the South African chief executive accepts the principle of resigning once “certain conditions have been met”. The agreement was reached on Tuesday, notes the confrere, during a meeting between Jacob Zuma and his vice president Cyril Ramaphosa elected last December at the head of the ANC, the party in power.
If Ace Magashule, the ANC secretary general who was attending the meeting between the two men, did not confirm the information, other ANC leaders said that an agreement had been reached to to allow President Zuma to “leave with dignity,” according to Times Live.
At the same time, on the evening of Tuesday, the ANC postponed to 17 next February a meeting of its National Executive Board (NEC, the party’s decision-making body that can demand the resignation of Zuma from the presidency) that was to take place today. on Wednesday 7 February to discuss the future of Jacob Zuma. Also, the speech on the state of the nation before parliament, the traditional major political event of the beginning of the year, scheduled for Thursday, has been postponed to a later date.
The resignation of President Zuma, who had been brewing for some time, is spread, more than yesterday, in the public square at the beginning of the year. On January 20, the local press echoed the NEC members’ decision to push him to the exit. And an in camera meeting held on February 4 between the latter and members of the party leadership had only amplified speculation on this prospect.
Abused by justice and disavowed by his own camp with the election of Cyril Ramaphosa (18 December) after a series of scandals and accusations of corruption, the fate of Jacob Zuma seems sealed, unless he wants to engage a arm wrestling with his party. At 75 years, the one whose mandate constitutionally ends at mid-2019 could end up counting the hours rather than the months he has left to power.