Published: Sun, February 11, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

ANC NEC cancels meeting after Zuma, Ramaphosa 'constructive discussion'

ANC NEC cancels meeting after Zuma, Ramaphosa 'constructive discussion'

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa took over from Zuma as ANC leader and is now poised to take hold of South Africa's government.

Earlier, parliament made a decision to ask Mr Zuma to delay his state-of-the-nation address scheduled for Thursday due to fears of violence, National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete said outside parliament in Cape Town.

There's been a lot of speculation of whether he would step down before SONA and many media outlets reported that Zuma told the Top 6 that he believes that he is constitutionally bound to deliver the State of the Nation address.

Zuma, whose term ends next year, was weakened in December when Cyril Ramaphosa, the deputy president, beat Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, a former Cabinet minister who is also Zuma's ex-wife, in a leadership contest.

Members of the Black First Land First (BLF) movement, who are calling for Zuma to be allowed to serve out his term as country president until 2019, were greeted by ANC supporters at Luthuli House in Johannesburg.

Some within the ANC and the opposition have said the Gupta family, friends of Zuma, have used their links with the president to win work with the state.

In a separate case, Zuma's lawyers last week submitted arguments to prosecutors about why he shouldn't be prosecuted for corruption charges tied to an arms deal two decades ago.

Ramaphosa said he is talking to his boss about "the transition and matters relating to his position as the President of the Republic". Opposition leaders will meet on Monday to discuss a scheduled motion of no confidence in Zuma on February 22 as well as parliament's mandate to elect a new president in the event that Zuma is removed, the parties said.

He still retains the support of a faction within the ANC but has seen several prominent party allies desert him recently.

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The highest court in the country found that Zuma failed to uphold, defend and respect the constitution and that Parliament failed to act against him after he unduly benefitted from taxpayer-funded renovations to his private homestead to the value of around $22 million. Analysts said the senior officials had met Zuma to ask him to step down.

The governing ANC party has called a meeting of its top body for Wednesday to decide on Mr Zuma's future.

In a damning statement, it said there was "overwhelming evidence that systematic looting by patronage networks linked to President Zuma have betrayed the country Nelson Mandela dreamed of".

Zuma's presidency has been dominated by an economic slowdown, record unemployment and allegations of corruption. The State of the Nation Address will be broadcast live on: Dstv Channel 408, SABC TV, eNCA, ANN7, SABC radio stations and Parliament's YouTube Channel.

Unlike in August when Zuma survived a no-confidence vote, a significant portion of the ANC now wants him gone.

The party's NEC is split between supporters of Ramaphosa and Zuma.

Opposition parties are demanding a vote of no-confidence to remove the president.

Zuma's presidency has been engulfed by corruption scandals.

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