What's holding up the Zuma exit talks

Danny Woods
February 10, 2018

President Jacob Zuma's wife Tobeka Madiba-Zuma whose husband's future in the Presidency is uncertain, on Friday finally broke her silence, warning that all hell was about to break loose.

"I think that it is the issue that is going to be behind us quite soon". He said Ramaphosa had returned Gauteng province, where the ANC's headquarters is located in the country's commercial capital Johannesburg.

While Ramaphosa, 65, retains the upper hand in the power struggle, he has a limited window of opportunity to act decisively against Zuma, according to Ongama Mtimka, a political science lecturer at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in the southern city of Port Elizabeth.

Earlier on Thursday, South African media reported that Ramaphosa told a parliamentary caucus that Zuma's immunity is not party of the discussion.

It is now the task of ANC party president Cyril Ramaphosa to manoeuvre Mr Zuma out of the door and prepare this fabled organisation for a national election next year.

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The National Prosecuting Authority is due to decide within weeks whether Zuma will face multiple charges of bribery and corruption related to an arms deal in the 1990s.

The timing and circumstances of the early exit of Zuma, who is under intense pressure to resign, pose a challenge for the party that was the main anti-apartheid movement during white minority rule and has led South Africa since the first all-race elections in 1994.

The 75-year-old Zuma, who has resisted calls from party leaders to step down, has governed the country for a tumultuous nine year period that has been marked by economic decline and many allegations of corruption.

"The engagement [between Zuma and Ramaphosa] is positive and therefore we really don't see much that can make us not achieve what we want to achieve - and that is to have the SONA [State of the Nation address] no later than a week's time". The NEC meeting was cancelled after Zuma asked Ramaphosa to meet and the two began a process of "negotiated transition".

"We are not sure, were uncertain of what it is that they're discussing behind the scenes".

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