Ramaphosa backers emboldened as 'Zuma must fall' call gathers momentum: ANC insiders

02 November 2016 - 17:33 By Kingdom Mabuza And Julia Madibogo
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The faction said to be supporting the ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa is watching the "Zuma must fall" campaign unfolding with glee.

ANC insiders told TMG Digital that the Ramaphosa faction would use the widening calls for Zuma to step down to pounce on him and persuade him to resign at the next national executive committee meeting.

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"It suits the faction that supports Ramaphosa‚ they would prefer not to remove President Jacob Zuma in a conference... because he would still be in control and a candidate who has his support can win and Ramaphosa would be out in the cold‚" a source said.

"The only guarantee to get Ramaphosa to lead is through the NEC‚ but if they allow Zuma to continue to lead until the conference next year‚ party systems could be manipulated."

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Another source said Cosatu affiliate unions would start speaking out against Zuma and call for his resignation ahead of the NEC meeting.

Health and Allied workers union‚ Nehawu‚ has already expressed their view that Zuma must go.

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The source said teachers' union Sadtu‚ police union Poprcu‚ and mineworkers union Num would be the next to call on Zuma to resign. Another source said the the ground had been prepared for members of the NEC to force Zuma to quit‚ most likely at the next NEC meeting.

"They will talk openly because they have the overwhelming support of civil society." ANC spokesman Zizi Kodwa said the NEC would meet before the end of the month but he had no knowledge of what would be in the agenda. Kodwa said there was no clause in the party's constitution that made provision for the recall of the president.

"Calls for president Zuma to step down have been made on many occasions‚ but in the ANC there is no clause with a provision for a recall of the president‚" said Kodwa.

He said the president of the ANC could only be removed at a conference. Earlier on Wednesday‚ ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said there were processes to be followed before the party's president could be removed.

He said those calling for Zuma to leave were appealing to his conscience. Political economist Moeletsi Mbeki said Zuma was not the only problem‚ but the entire ANC leadership. "I think the misdeeds of President Zuma and of the ANC are well known‚ and I guess in the case of Pravin Gordhan‚ because he is both and ANC member and a minister but stood up to the president and the ANC leadership.

"This has encouraged a lot of ANC members and the older veterans to come out openly and express their dissatisfaction against the current leadership of the ANC. So I think that is really what is happening.

"I don’t think it’s just the president. I think it’s the ANC itself. The mistake many people make is to think that the population is unhappy just because of Jacob Zuma... We have an accumulation of unhappiness with the lack of performance of the ANC government.

"Zuma may be a trigger but ... the real causes of the turmoil in South Africa is that the ANC failed to deliver on promise which was made to the people n 1994 and gradually people are getting fed up and are now starting to express themselves‚" Mbeki said.

- TMG Digital

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