Published: Mon, February 12, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Cyril Ramaphosa: ANC impatient over Jacob Zuma future

Cyril Ramaphosa: ANC impatient over Jacob Zuma future

A similar meeting of the ANC's National Executive Committee (NEC) was called off last week after direct talks between Mr Zuma and Mr Ramaphosa, who is the deputy president as well as the new leader of the party.

The two have quarreled in recent months, with Ramaphosa publicly criticizing Zuma's decision past year to fire his respected finance minister, Pravin Gordhan, and his failure to tackle corruption.

Ramaphosa, 65, has been lobbying for Zuma to resign and has said he hopes to conclude talks with him over a transition of power 'in coming the interests of the country. The NEC is the highest decision-making body of the ANC between national conferences.

Zuma has not said whether he will resign voluntarily before his second term as president ends in the middle of next year.

Cyril Ramaphosa said the matter had to be handled with "care and purpose". "This is informing our approach", he added.

"For him a necessary condition for the unity of South African people was the unity of the African National Congress".

Reliable ANC sources earlier confirmed that the negotiations with Zuma concerned "cosmetic" issues like the payment of his legal fees after leaving office and security for him and his family. And because our people want this matter to be finalised, the NEC will be doing exactly that.

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But Ramaphosa put paid to all the claims when he declared: "It is the interests of you, our people, that must be put first, and not the interests of anyone else".

'We all know and anticipate that they are dealing with the current issue that is facing our country, Faiez Jacobs, the party's provincial secretary, told eNCA television.

After missing out on becoming Nelson Mandela's deputy when the anti-apartheid icon swept to power in 1994, Ramaphosa withdrew from politics, switching focus to business.

First Lady Madiba-Zuma, however, who clearly supports her husband's stance to remain in power until next year will have none of these antics to remove her from the stately home as well and cautioned against "picking a fight with someone who is not fighting you".

"We remember the other Rivonia trialists - Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki, Ahmed Kathrada, Raymond Mhlaba, Elias Motsoaledi and Andrew Mlangeni - who were imprisoned alongside Madiba on Robben Island".

"Like Madiba, they were made to suffer for their convictions and, like him, their sacrifices, their courage and their indomitable spirit continue to inspire us"'.

Ramaphosa was at Mandela's side, holding a microphone, when the leader addressed thousands outside Cape Town's city hall on the same day 28 years ago after his release.

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