ANC focuses on Mandela but pressure mounts for Zuma to go

ANC focuses on Mandela but pressure mounts for Zuma to go

Kerry Wise
February 12, 2018

He has faced criticism for previously keeping a low profile on the issue for much of his time as Zuma's deputy, though supporters say he was biding his time and planned to engineer changes from within the government and ruling party.

A senior ANC source told Reuters that the executive committee would meet at 1200 GMT in Pretoria on Monday.

The president, who denies wrongdoing, is due to end his second five-year term at elections next year.

"This year we are called upon, all of us, to look at where we have come from and to look at our weaknesses, to look at the challenges we face", Ramaphosa said.

Zuma has shrugged off a succession of scandals during his nine-year tenure as president, but pressure has been mounting on him to quit since Cyril Ramaphosa won control of the ruling party in December. It is Madiba's example that should inform our approach to the tasks that we must undertake. And because our people want this matter to be finalised, the NEC will be doing exactly that.

Ramaphosa said it was important that the discussions were handled with care and objective "ensuring that we place the interests of the South African people first".

"For him a necessary condition for the unity of South African people was the unity of the African National Congress".

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Sunday newspapers reported that Zuma was negotiating, among other things, an assurance that the state will take care of his legal fees, security for his family and immunity from prosecution. "We know you want closure on this matter".

"Nelson Mandela was very clear that he always sought to put the interests of our people first, but also clear about continuing to unite the people of SA and ANC".

The drama over whether South African President Jacob Zuma soon will leave office because of corruption allegations is overshadowing commemorations of the centenary of Nelson Mandela's birth.

Ramaphosa, an anti-apartheid activist who held the microphone for Mandela during the City Hall speech, was a key negotiator during the transition to democracy in the early 1990s.

The Sunday Times has learnt that Ramaphosa is trying to secure Zuma's co-operation in the state-capture investigations and has solicited opinions on legal avenues that would allow the president to avoid prosecution or receive a reduced sentence.

Ramaphosa also lauded the late ANC stalwart Albertina Sisulu, and Archbishop Emeritas Desmond Tutu for their roles as leading lights of the anti-apartheid struggle.

Ramaphosa told an ANC rally in Cape Town that the meeting would "finalise" the matter, but he gave no further details.