South African President Jacob Zuma’s fate will be decided this weekend when the ruling African National Congress (ANC) meets as pressure mounts to recall its leader.
A 90-member National Executive (NEC) meeting gets underway in Pretoria Friday and the party’s former leaders have demanded that the NEC deal decisively with allegations of ‘state capture’.
The gathering comes after Deputy Finance minister Mcebisi Jonas announced that the Gupta family offered him the job of Finance minister last year before Nhanhla Nene was sacked.
ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe has confirmed the matter will be tabled, but said recalling Mr Zuma would not be as easy as it was to recall Thabo Mbeki in September 2008.
Mr Mantashe said: “Zuma is President of the ANC and the Republic of South Africa, but Mbeki was only president of the country.”
The meeting runs until Sunday after which a decision will be announced. President Zuma is expected to present a report on his affiliation with the Guptas.
SECURE BUSINESS DEALS
Former ANC treasurer Mathews Phosa is convinced the Gupta family was using President Zuma to secure business deals and needs to be confronted.
The Gupta family, who run over 10 companies in South Africa, have denied any wrongdoing.
Former ANC Youth League deputy president Ronald Lamola expects the NEC to properly address a range of different scandals linked to the president.
“We call upon on all members of the ANC to stand up so that the NEC does not continue to hide behind our name. They must isolate Jacob Zuma. It must be clear that Jacob Zuma is doing whatever shenanigans with the Guptas which is not in the mandate of the ANC,” Mr Lamola said.
The committee will receive a report from national officials about a meeting they had with the Guptas about alleged state capture and their acquisition of the Optimum Coal Mine.
There are two ways to remove a sitting (ANC) president.
RECALL: The NEC has the powers to tell an office bearer it has lost confidence and wants them to resign. This is what happened with former Mr Mbeki in September 2008. Under the constitution, he resigned the post.
CONSTITUTIONAL: The parliament also has the powers to remove the president.
Section 89: a two-thirds majority vote of the parliament is required where there is “a serious violation of the Constitution or the law; serious misconduct; or inability to perform functions of the office”.
Section 102: a vote of no confidence by simple majority forces the resignation of the president.