Knives out for Zuma after court shocker
Corruption charges would be grounds to unseat him, say some
President Jacob Zuma's detractors are plotting a last-ditch attempt to remove him following a dramatic concession by his legal team at the Supreme Court of Appeal this week.
The Sunday Times can reveal that Zuma's lawyers' concession in court that the decision to drop charges against him was indeed irrational has revived plans to force the president to step down after several attempts within the ANC in parliament failed.
ANC national executive committee members who are known backers of Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said they hoped the eventual SCA judgment would force Zuma to resign.
This is premised on a decision of the ANC's 2015 national general council that leaders who were charged with criminal offences should step aside to prevent dragging the name of the ANC through the mud."The NGC said the assumption of 'innocent until proven guilty' is compromising the integrity of the ANC. The response has always been that the comrade is innocent until proven guilty. But that principle is not assisting the ANC," said the NEC member.
The ANC further reaffirmed at its policy conference in June that the principle of "innocent until proven otherwise" had become a stumbling block for the ANC.
This was the basis on which former deputy minister of higher education Mduduzi Manana was made to resign after he was charged with assaulting a woman at a Johannesburg nightclub.
Now Zuma's detractors say it should be no different for him.
'He doesn't want to go to jail'
On Thursday, the SCA heard an eleventh-hour concession by Zuma's legal team that the decision to withdraw criminal charges against him by former NPA head Mokotedi Mpshe was irrational and wrong.
This is seen as increasing the chances that the SCA will rule that the original decision to charge Zuma still stands, and he will have to stand trial on more than 700 charges of corruption and fraud.