The South African President, Jacob Zuma, at the opening of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government, during the annual summit of the African Union in Addis Ababa, on January 28, 2018
The African National Congress (ANC), which governs in South Africa, decided on Tuesday the departure of President Jacob Zuma, splashed by several corruption scandals that have plunged the country into a serious political crisis, local media reported.
This decision, which was not officially confirmed and is not binding, was taken by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party that analyzed the fate of Zuma, which was punctuated by several scandals.
„It took 13 hours, but the National Executive Committee of the ANC decided to revoke President Jacob Zuma as head of state,“ The Times newspaper quoted unidentified sources as saying.
The leadership of the party has the power to request the departure of its delegated members who are in a governmental function, as it did in 2008 in the case of President Thabo Mbeki, who complied and resigned.
The state chain SABC reported that the ANC gave Zuma 48 hours to give his resignation.
Other media indicated that the party will write to Zuma ordering him to step down as president.
There was no immediate confirmation of the announcement and the representatives of the ANC were not available to confirm the information, but the training convened a press conference at 12.00 (10.00 GMT) at its headquarters in Johannesburg.
The party can revoke the head of state by forcing him to resign, but constitutionally this is not obliged to obey.
In this case, Zuma could be dismissed through a motion in parliament in the coming days.
A group of supporters of Cyril Ramaphosa waving placards to request the departure of President Jacob Zuma on February 5, 2018 in Johannesburg
This text has to be adopted by an absolute majority of the 400 total deputies.
So far, Zuma, splashed by several corruption scandals, has refused to bend to the demands of his party.
According to local media, the leader of the formation, Cyril Ramaphosa, returned to meet with Zuma on Monday to ask him to resign within a period of 48 hours.
– ‚Turn the page‘ –
The crisis that shakes the ANC, in power since the end of the Apartheid regime in 1994, currently disturbs the functioning of the State.
The supporters of Ramaphosa are trying to get Zuma to leave the power as soon as possible in the face of the 2019 general elections.
Zuma supporters insist that his second term ends.
In recent weeks, the ANC has multiplied the official meetings and behind-the-scenes negotiations without reaching a decision. The issue became more pressing as the president’s annual speech on the state of the nation approached, finally postponed.
„We know you want this issue to be closed,“ said Ramaphosa, 65, at a party rally on Sunday in Cape Town.
„We know you want to turn the page (…) because people want this to end, the NEC is going to do just that,“ he said.
The Sunday rally was part of the celebrations of 100 years since the birth of Nelson Mandela, and also of an attempt by Ramaphosa to revive the damaged reputation of the formation.
On Monday the opposition parties had called for early elections, while the crisis of the ANC was still open.
„We must proceed to the dissolution of the parliament (…) and after that to an early election,“ the leader of the Democratic Alliance party, Mmusi Maimane, told reporters.