The ANC’s powerful decision-making national executive committee confirmed on Tuesday that it had recalled President Jacob Zuma.
ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule told a media briefing at the party’s headquarters‚ Chief Albert Luthuli House‚ that the decision was taken only after “exhaustive”‚ 13-hour discussions on Monday afternoon and into the early hours of Tuesday morning.
However‚ it is unclear whether Zuma will resign‚ as Magashule said there was “no deadline” by which time Zuma had to act based on the NEC’s decision - a decision he described as “final” and one that “cannot change”.
Here’s the ANC’s full statement on the decision to recall Zuma:
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 126.96.36.199 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.