JOHANNESBURG – The African National Congress’ (ANC) national executive committee (NEC) has confirmed that it has recalled President Jacob Zuma.
The NEC has briefed the media on the outcome of Monday’s special NEC meeting which ended in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
The meeting was called to discuss and finalise Zuma’s future as head of state.
The ANC has confirmed that President Zuma has been notified of its decision to recall him but he’s not been given a deadline to respond.
ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule has given an update at Luthuli House.
He says the NEC sent a delegation to convey its decision to the president on Tuesday along with the message that the party could not agree on a timeframe.
Magashule has confirmed that Zuma proposed resigning with a notice of three to six months.
He says talks between Zuma and party officials continue.
“There should be continued interaction between officials of the ANC and President Jacob Zuma and the decision by the NEC to recall its deployee was only taken after exhaustive discussions.”
He also says the environment of uncertainty in the country means that the governing party must act with urgency and the rest of the party will now be briefed.
“Over the weekend, the national executive committee will go throughout the country to brief and inform our structures about the decisions we have taken.”
The president has been under pressure to leave office following Cyril Ramaphosa’s election as ANC president at the party’s national conference in December.
The ANC says its leaders had fruitful and constructive engagements with Zuma.
Asked what was fruitful or constructive about the discussions if they failed to agree on his removal, Magashule confirmed that President Zuma wanted to serve for three more months before resigning, but the secretary-general says the ANC was concerned about the anxiety around the issue.
He says they have given Zuma time and space to respond, adding that they haven’t given him a deadline but expect him to respond on Wednesday.
Magashule says they have not discussed a motion of no confidence. He says the party will decide what to do once the president makes his move.
The NEC has also decided that Ramaphosa must take over from the president.
Magashule says when they informed Zuma of the NEC decision, he told them he is a disciplined member of the ANC.
The secretary-general says in the event that Zuma defies the party, the ANC leaders haven’t decided whether they will charge him with ill-discipline or not.
WATCH: ANC NEC briefing
Read the full statement of the ANC below:
Statement of the African National Congress following special meeting of the National Executive Committee held on the 12th February 2018
The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the African National Congress (ANC) convened a special meeting on Monday, 12th February 2018 at the Saint George Hotel, Tshwane. The meeting was called to reflect on the current situation as it pertains to the position of the President of the Republic of South Africa, Comrade Jacob Zuma.
The NEC received a report from the Officials on their engagement with President Zuma. These engagements had been informed by the commitment to pursue firstly the interest of the country and the ANC and the determination to handle the matter with utmost dignity.
The NEC noted the report of the Officials that the President had agreed in principle to resign and had proposed time frames extending from three to six months. While appreciating President Zuma’s proposal, the NEC noted that South Africa is going through a period of uncertainty and anxiety as a result of the unresolved matter of transition. Further that this uncertainty and anxiety will erode the renewed hope and confidence among South Africans since the 54th National Conference of the ANC.
The National Executive Committee firmly believes that this situation requires us to act with urgency in order to steer our country towards greater levels of unity, renewal and hope. We are determined to restore the integrity of the public institutions, create political stability and urgent economic recovery. Some of the matters we are contending with are the opportunistic manoeuvers by the opposition in parliament including motions of no confidence in the President, calls for dissolution for parliament and other desperate acts. The ANC’s approach to this matter has, at all times, been informed by the interests of the South African people.
Sensitive of the need to handle this matter with dignity, the NEC once again sent a delegation to brief the President Jacob Zuma about the need to shorten the timeframes so that this matter is speedily resolved. The NEC received feedback from the delegation that the President of the Republic did not accede to a shorter time frame.
The NEC therefore decided as follows:
To recall its deployee, Comrade Jacob Zuma, in accordance with Rule 220.127.116.11 of the ANC Constitution, which accords the NEC the authority to “recall any public representative”.
There should be continuing interaction between the officials of the ANC and the President of the Republic.
The decision by the NEC to recall its deployee was taken only after exhaustive discussion on the impact such a recall would have on the country, the ANC and the functioning of government.
The decision of the NEC provides certainty to the people of South Africa at a time when the economic and social challenges facing the country require urgent and resolute response by all sections of society.
It is critical that South Africans are united around the task of growth, job creation and economic transformation.
This decision will be communicated publicly and through appropriate forums to all structures of the ANC, Alliance Structures and all the Mass Democratic Formations.
All necessary parliamentary processes that arise from this decision will now ensue.
African National Congress
More details to follow on this developing story.