ANC officials push talks to end Zuma's Presidency

Lynette Rowe
February 12, 2018

South Africa's African National Congress (ANC) leader Cyril Ramaphosa said on Sunday the party's executive body would meet on Monday to finalise discussions on the future of President Jacob Zuma, who is under mounting pressure to step down. However, he pulled out of the events, citing "other pressing commitments".

Ramaphosa called off a special sitting of the structure scheduled for last Wednesday and subsequently released a statement saying his talks with Zuma had been "constructive".

Ramaphosa 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 rand, which has tended to strengthen on signs that Zuma could step down before his second term as president ends next year, rose yesterday as investors increased bets that Ramaphosa would be able to unseat the embattled president.

She posted a happy photo of herself and her husband, seemingly inside a plane, from her Instagram account, firstladytzuma, with the following caption in isiZulu: "My crush, Nxamalala, Msholozi, Maphumephethe, Inkunzi, Emidiwayidwa, Zinyane likaMnyakanya".

This, however, has not gone down well with both the opposition and his ANC party, thereby necessitating the current closed door talks to remove him from State House.

He also saluted "such freedom fighters as Sheik Yusuf, Dr Abdullah Abdurahman, Cissy Gool, Alex La Guma, ZR Mahabane, Oscar Mpetha, Philip Kgosana, Ray Alexander, Dora Tamana, John Mtini, Reg September, Dullah Omar, Ben Turok, Annie Silinga, Essa Moosa, Johnny Issel, Jakes Gerwel, Archie Sibeko, Ashley Kriel and many others who were drawn from Cape Town".

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Unlike Zuma, Ramaphosa was not driven into exile for opposing apartheid, which some of the party's more hardline members hold against him.

The rally was part of ANC celebrations marking 100 years since Mandela's birth - as well as efforts by Ramaphosa to try to revive the party's tainted reputation ahead of next year's general election.

When Mandela finished, Ramaphosa briefly addressed the crowd.

Ramaphosa also used the occasion to praise the Congress of South African Unions (Cosatu) for the role it played in ensuring that the minimum wage is finalised and implemented this year from May 1.

Zuma had been due to officiate at a diplomatic awards ceremony in Cape Town on Saturday, according to his office, but that event has been postponed.

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

The Guptas and Zuma have denied any wrongdoing.

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